Reducing crime and improving personal and communal security are crucial policy goals. The task of achieving these goals naturally falls first and foremost on a country’s police force.There is a widespread consensus that police forces are most effective in preventing and solving crime when they establish close, cooperative, and mutually respectful relationships with citizens. Against a backdrop of general distrust of the police, especially in areas plagued by crime, community oriented policing (COP) has been touted as a key reform to build trust and increase collaboration between officers and citizens. There is a growing body of evidence from consolidated industrial democracies that COP works. By contrast, the effectiveness of COP in low-income countries—especially those ruled by authoritarian or electoral authoritarian regimes—is an open question with important theoretical and policy implications.Uganda offers an important test case for the effectiveness of community policing in a low-income country setting.
Authors: Robert A. Blair, Brown University, Guy Grossman, University of Pennsylvania, AnnaM.Wilke, Columbia University