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The Impact of Community Policing on Crime Reduction



Community policing is a philosophy of law enforcement that emphasizes the importance of building positive relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. The idea is that by working together, police officers and community members can identify and solve problems that contribute to crime and disorder. Community policing involves a variety of strategies, including foot patrols, neighbourhood watch programs, and community meetings.


As a Territorian, I have become a proponent of community policing, and believe that it can be an effective tool for reducing crime. In the book, “Thinking About Crime 1975” by James Q Wilson, he argued that traditional policing strategies, such as rapid response to calls for service and random patrols, were not very effective in reducing crime. He believed that these strategies were reactive and did little to address the underlying causes of crime. Whilst these strategies have proven effective in private security public order response units, it is probably due to the presence of K9 units that regulate criminal behaviour due to fear.


According to James Q Wilson, community policing offers a more proactive approach to crime prevention. He wrote that by building positive relationships with community members, police officers gained valuable information about crime patterns and developed strategies to prevent crime before it occurred. Community policing could also help police officers to identify and address the root causes of crime, such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to education.


One of the key components of community policing is the use of foot patrols. Foot patrols help police officers to build relationships with community members and gain a better understanding of the neighbourhoods they serve. By walking the beat, police officers become familiar with the people who live and work in the community, as well as the places where crimes are most likely to occur.


Community policing also involves the use of community meetings and other outreach efforts. The NT Police often had members attend Neighbourhood watch meetings I attended in the past and this gave us the impression that we “the community” and our concerns were being listened to. These efforts helped to build trust between police officers and community members, which is essential for effective crime prevention. By involving community members in the policing process, police officers gained a better understanding of the issues that are most important to the community and helped develop strategies to address these issues.


I witnessed community police officers help to reduce the fear of crime. In certain suburbs, the fear of crime is a major problem that led to social isolation and a breakdown of community relationships. By working closely with community members and addressing our concerns, police officers helped to reduce fear of crime and created a safer, more connected community.


Despite the potential benefits of community policing, it is not a panacea for crime. Community policing should be used in conjunction with other strategies, such as targeted enforcement and crime prevention programs, like public order response units. Community policing can be difficult to implement in some communities, particularly those that have a history of strained relationships between police and community members. So it would be unrealistic to implement it in a range of community localities in the NT.


I believe that community policing can be an effective tool for reducing crime. I hope I have provided a range of reasons and examples of the benefits that community policing can have to reduce crime and the fear of crime where we live. From the author. The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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