iuvp case 1

Case 1: Facilitating construction of a New Police Station

The adoption of the new constitution and the alignment of the National Police Service Act to the new dispensation warranted a shift in policing from a ‘police force’ to a ‘police service’ seeking to minimise issues of corruption, poor professionalism, poor police-community relationships, public mistrust of policing and low levels of reporting of crime by establishment of Community Policing. The Community Policing Committees (CPCs) created by changes in laws have a significant role in achieving this ambition including identifying and enacting new ways to support the improvement of policing. Recognising that in one area the police ‘station’ was a fenceless small wooden shelter which provided no privacy or facilities, it also posed a security threat to the officers and police station users. The likelihood of police officers feeling valued in their work, being treated as professionals and feeling pride in their work was low. The CPC therefore considered ways to create a positive and professional working environment for local police officers.
The CPC wrote a proposal to the National Government Constituency Development Fund to construct a perimeter wall and a modern police station to replace the wooden dilapidated structure that the police were using as a station. This involved reclaiming the title deed to the land, engaging with the Inspector General of the Police and seeking a ‘bill of quantity’ to put together a likely budget for a modern building structure. The security of the land and ownership were important to achieve investment through the National Government. In addition, children and gender matters were being handled under a tree. This placed the privacy of the survivors, the gender and children officers at risk. There was a need for a gender and children office since the construction of the modern police station was taking long. The CPC mobilised stakeholders to buy a shipping container as a make shift office and a safe space for survivors.
Role of P-BLD
The main roles of P-BLD in this action was firstly to stimulate the CPC to realise that they have the mandate, the authority and the motivation to tackle the issue on behalf of the police, and to use their network and influence to mobilise resources to enable it to happen.
‘[Rob] trained us so much on that, we dwelt on it in module two, three and four which was very much about how we can mobilise the resources within our areas, and that’s what we did.’ Secondly, the P-BLD facilitator and Midrift Hurinet colleagues supported the development of the proposal to the government, including formulating budget and writing it in a way it can be supported and understood by area member of parliament and other state and non-state officials.
The new police station was referenced by several participants and collaborators as an important investment in local policing, generating awareness of the government, of the new ways in which policing was seeking to work and attracting posting of more police officers there. The collaborative approaches of the CPC and its achievements made the National police service at National Level to benchmark on good community policing practices.
‘The community now feels a sense of belonging to the government.’
‘It has changed drastically. It’s a big change…We have our police station now, it is divisional headquarters… initially we had 30 officers, 35 [maybe] now we have 164 police officers because there are offices for them to operate. Back then it was no office, it was just a structure, a wooden structure for a police station.’
‘By building the new police station, it has reduced the likelihood of officers engaging in collusion with criminals or petty crime. It also reduces their risk of suicide.’
‘I’ve seen our ways of doing things have changed and the members of the public they come there, they appreciate, they say, okay, now this is improved. And we like the way we are doing things as much as there are some more to be done, so far so good. So that when things happen, the public members appreciate [us] to be in closer organisation with them. And that’s a good thing.’

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