Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 189–210 | Cite as

Communities as Neighborhood Guardians: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Community Policing in Nairobi's Suburbs

Article

Abstract

The efficacy of citizens to participate in neighborhood-watch activities and report signs of trouble is important for safeguarding communities against crime. Community policing is a key policing strategy for utilizing the capability of residents to solve local crime-related problems. However, variability in social cohesion among communities profoundly affects the contribution of individuals towards policing. After 7 years of a community policing intervention in suburban Nairobi, Kenya, this study assesses the program as a state-initiated and community-sustained security venture. We compare micro-scaled concentrations of different property and violent crimes to identify geographic variations over time using kernel density estimates and spatio-temporal scan statistics. Multi-level regression models assess the direct and conditioned perceptions of individuals and their neighbors, and how these perceptions influenced crime variation during the pre- and post-intervention periods of community policing. Both the density estimates and the scan statistics pinpoint a disproportionate crime reduction across neighborhoods. The research findings also depict an interaction between the communal willingness to participate in neighborhood-watch activities and the relative crime decline. In particular, those communities that have good relations with the police are more inclined to involve themselves in community policing. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of their implications for policy.

Keywords

Community policing Kernel density estimation Space-time scan statistic Multi-level regression Nairobi (Kenya) 

References

  1. Amnesty International (2013). Kenya: Police reform in Kenya: “A drop in the ocean”. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR32/001/2013/en. Accessed 10 February 2015.
  2. Baker, B. (2010). Nonstate policing: expanding the scope for tackling Africa’s urban violence. African Security Briefing, 2010, 7.Google Scholar
  3. Braga, A. A., Winship, C., Tyler, T. R., Fagan, J., & Meares, T. L. (2014). The salience of social contextual factors in appraisals of police interactions with citizens: a randomized factorial experiment. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 30(4), 599–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brogden, M., & Nijhar, P. (2013). Community Policing. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Brunson, R. K. (2007). “Police don’t like black people”: African‐American young men’s accumulated police experiences. Criminology & Public Policy, 6(1), 71–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bull, M. (2014). Community policing and the limits of the bureaucratic state. Asian Journal of Criminology 1–15.Google Scholar
  7. Carr, P. J. (2005). Clean streets: Controlling crime, maintaining order, and building community activism. NYU Press.Google Scholar
  8. Christensen, R. H. B. (2015). Ordinal regression models for ordinal data. R package version 2015.1-21.Google Scholar
  9. Connell, N. M., Miggans, K., & McGloin, J. M. (2008). Can a community policing initiative reduce serious crime? a local evaluation. Police Quarterly, 11(2), 127–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cordner, G. (2014). Community policing. The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing, 148.Google Scholar
  11. Davies, T. M., Hazelton, M. L., Marshall, J. C., & Davies, M. T. M. (2014). Package ‘sparr’. risk 22, 1.Google Scholar
  12. Duncan, T. E., Duncan, S. C., Okut, H., Strycker, L. A., & Hix-Small, H. (2003). A multilevel contextual model of neighborhood collective efficacy. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32(3–4), 245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Feigl, H., Langfeld, H., Green, C. D., Wikstrom, P. O., Oberwittler, D., &, Treiber, K et al. (2015). Community criminology: Fundamentals of spatial and temporal scaling, ecological indicators, and selectivity, Bias, 25.Google Scholar
  14. Finnegan, L., Hickson, C., & Rai, S. (2008). Implementing community-based policing in Kenya. London: Saferworld.Google Scholar
  15. Gill, C., Weisburd, D., Telep, C. W., Vitter, Z., & Bennett, T. (2014). Community-oriented policing to reduce crime, disorder and fear and increase satisfaction and legitimacy among citizens: a systematic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 10(4), 399–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gituai, C. T. (2010). Policing with the community: Kenya community-based policing. Nairobi: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  17. Gradín, C. (2013). Race, poverty and deprivation in South Africa. Journal of African Economies, 22(2), 187–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Groff, E. R., & Lockwood, B. (2014). Criminogenic facilities and crime across street segments in Philadelphia uncovering evidence about the spatial extent of facility influence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 51(3), 277–314.Google Scholar
  19. Helbich, M., & Leitner, M. (2012). Evaluation of spatial cluster detection algorithms for crime locations. Challenges at the interface of data analysis, computer science, and optimization (pp. 193–201). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Holmes, M. D., Painter, M. A., & Smith, B. W. (2015). Citizens’ perceptions of police in rural US communities: a multilevel analysis of contextual, organisational and individual predictors. Policing and Society (ahead-of-print), 1–21.Google Scholar
  21. Jones, S. G., & Kulldorff, M. (2012). Influence of spatial resolution on space-time disease cluster detection. PLoS One, 7(10), e48036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. K’Akumu, O. A., & Olima, W. H. (2007). The dynamics and implications of residential segregation in Nairobi. Habitat International, 31(1), 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kennedy, L. W., Caplan, J. M., & Piza, E. (2011). Risk clusters, hotspots, and spatial intelligence: risk terrain modeling as an algorithm for police resource allocation strategies. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 27(3), 339–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kenya Police (2010). Annual crime report for the year 2010. http://www.kenyapolice.go.ke/resources. Accessed 2 January 2015.
  25. Koper, C. S., Hoffmaster, D. A., Luna, A., McFadden, S., & Woods, D. J. (2010). Developing a St. Louis model for reducing gun violence. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum Report.Google Scholar
  26. Law, J., & Chan, P. W. (2012). Bayesian spatial random effect modelling for analysing burglary risks controlling for offender, socioeconomic, and unknown risk factors. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 5(1), 73–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. LeBas, A. (2013). Violence and urban order in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. Studies in Comparative International Development, 48(3), 240–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leitner, M., & Helbich, M. (2011). The impact of hurricanes on crime: a spatio-temporal analysis in the city of Houston, Texas. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 38(2), 213–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Leverentz, A. (2014). New parochialism and community dynamics. Criminology & Public Policy, 13(2), 217–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lidén, T. (2012). Community policing in Kikuyu: assessing the need for organizational change within a police department from an institutional approach, LNU: Doctoral dissertation.Google Scholar
  31. Lord, V. B., Kuhns, J. B., & Friday, P. C. (2009). Small city community policing and citizen satisfaction. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 32(4), 574–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MacDonald, J. M. (2002). The effectiveness of community policing in reducing urban violence. Crime & Delinquency, 48(4), 592–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mohamed, B. M. (2013). National security and community policing: a case study of Kenya. Doctoral dissertation, Nairobi: University of Nairobi.Google Scholar
  34. Momanyi, B. (2011). Nairobi residents celebrate a crime-free Christmas: Police, Capital News. http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2011/12/nairobi-residents-celebrate-a-crime-free-christmas-police/. Accessed 16 April 2015.
  35. Mutanu, B. (2014). Crime down by 70pc in Dandora. In Nairobi News : February 24th 2014, 8 - Daily Nation.Google Scholar
  36. Nalla, M. K., & Newman, G. R. (Eds.). (2013). Community policing in indigenous communities. CRC Press.Google Scholar
  37. National Assembly. (2010). Official report, Wednesday, 16th June, 2010. Nairobi: Government Press.Google Scholar
  38. Olima, W. H. (2013). Residents’ participation in neighborhood management and maintenance: Experiences and lessons from Nairobi, Kenya. Http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/. Accessed 11 April 2015.
  39. Openshaw, S., & Taylor, P. J. (1979). A million or so correlation coefficients: three experiments on the modifiable areal unit problem. Statistical Applications in the Spatial Sciences, 21, 127–144.Google Scholar
  40. Parks, M. J. (2013) Urban poverty traps: neighborhoods and violent victimization and offending in Nairobi, Kenya. Urban Studies. 0042098013504144.Google Scholar
  41. Pinto, A. F., & de Garay, M. E. S. (2014). Community policing in Mexico the framework of resistance and conditions of possibility. stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 3(1), Art-43.Google Scholar
  42. Rasmussen, J. (2012). Inside the system, outside the law: operating the matatu sector in Nairobi. Urban Forum, 23, 415–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Raudenbush, S. W., & Sampsojn, R. J. (1999). Ecometrics: toward a science of assessing ecological settings, with application to the systematic social observation of neighborhoods. Sociological Methodology, 29, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reisig, M. D. (2010). Community and problem‐oriented policing. Crime and Justice, 39(1), 1–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Roberts, M. J. (2012). Conflict analysis of the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya. In A. G. Adebayo (Ed.), Managing conflicts in Africa’s democratic transitions. USA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing.Google Scholar
  46. Ruteere, M. (2011). More than political tools: the police and post-election violence in Kenya. African Security Review, 20(4), 11–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ruteere, M., & Pommerolle, M. E. (2003). Democratizing security or decentralizing repression? the ambiguities of community policing in Kenya. African Affairs, 102(409), 587–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ruteere, M., Mutahi, P., Mitchell, B., & Lind, J. (2013). Missing the point: violence reduction and policy misadventures in Nairobi’s poor neighborhoods. Evidence Report, 39, Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
  49. Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S. W., & Earls, F. (1997). Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science, 277(5328), 918–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sherman, L. W., Gartin, P. R., & Buerger, M. E. (1989). Hot spots of predatory crime: routine activities and the criminology of place. Criminology, 27(1), 27–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Singer, E., & Kulka, R. A. (2002). Paying respondents for survey participation. Studies of welfare populations: Data collection and research issues 105–128.Google Scholar
  52. Stavrou, A. (2002). Crime in Nairobi: results of a citywide victim survey. Un-habitat, 4.Google Scholar
  53. Stein, R. E. (2010). The utility of country structure: a cross-national multilevel analysis of property and violent victimization. International Criminal Justice Review, 20(1), 35–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stein, R. E., & Griffith, C. (2015). Resident and police perceptions of the neighborhood implications for community policing. Criminal Justice Policy Review 0887403415570630.Google Scholar
  55. Thuo, A. D. M. (2013). Impacts of urbanization on land use planning, livelihood and environment in the Nairobi rural–urban fringe, Kenya. International Journal of Science Technology Research, 2, 70–79.Google Scholar
  56. Tranchant, J. P. (2013). Making the urban poor safer: Lessons from Nairobi and Maharashtra. UK: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
  57. Ward, J. T., Nobles, M. R., Youstin, T. J., & Cook, C. L. (2014). Placing the neighborhood accessibility–burglary link in social-structural context. Crime & Delinquency, 60(5), 739–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weisburd, D., Maher, L., Sherman, L., Buerger, M., Cohn, E., & Petrisino, A. et al. (1993). Contrasting crime general and crime specific theory: The case of hot spots of crime. In (Eds.) F. Adler, W. S. L.aufer. New Directions in Criminological Theory 4: 45–70.Google Scholar
  59. Weisburd, D., Telep, C. W., Hinkle, J. C., & Eck, J. E. (2010). Is problem-oriented policing effective in reducing crime and disorder? Criminology Publications Policy, 9, 139–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weisburd, D. L., Groff, E. R., & Yang, S.-M. (2012). The criminology of place: Street segments and our understanding of the crime problem. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wisler, D., & Onwudiwe, I. D. (2008). Community policing in comparison. Police Quarterly, 11(4), 427–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of GeosciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations