Practice

Promoting Cross-Sectoral Approaches to Public Safety and Crime Prevention

Background:  

The voluntary policing sector of Enugu has an important role to play in complementing the work of the police in public safety and crime prevention.  The J4A Component 2 – Policing – will commence a project in 2013 aimed at strengthening the capacity of voluntary policing groups (often more commonly known as ‘vigilantes’ ) for example to work within the legal framework of the state and respect human rights, as well as ensuring that they effectively coordinate and cooperate with the formal police –including community policing and investigation teams. For example, vigilantes are often the first to a scene of crime, and it is important they understand how to secure the scene of crime, and preserve evidence, so as to ensure that the police are able to carry out a proper investigation without any compromise. The J4A project will be implemented in a number of pilot communities, and based on lessons learned, it is hoped there will eventually be dissemination of those lessons and replication across the state. The ESJRT can help with this process by advocating amongst key stakeholders for the strengthening of the wider voluntary policing sector based on lessons learned from the pilots.

A key issue in Enugu is youths engaging in criminal activity because of involvement in cult groups. It is critical that there is education and sensitization of young people to prevent them from getting involved in such activities.  There are a number of initiatives that have had similar aims, such as the ‘Safer Schools’ community policing initiative of the NPF, and also work through voluntary policing sector groups to work with youths in their communities. Traditional Rulers, religious leaders, community based youth workers are other potential sources of education and sensitization on this matter. The ESJRT can work with cross sector stakeholders to develop a co-ordinated youth enlightenment campaign to help prevent young people from getting involved in crime and criminality.

 

Priority reform initiatives:       

 i. Under-study the J4A Voluntary Policing Sector Project in 2013, and liaise with project consultants on how the ESJRT might help with dissemination and replication of pilot experience in other parts of Enugu State.

ii. Facilitate a cross-sector process for developing a youth enlightenment campaign on crime and criminality