Around the World
These articles feature a comparative look at policing across the globe.
Around the World 7.1: Community Police in Nepal for Security and Justice
Source: Pradhan, P. (2012, February 10). Community police in Nepal for security and justice. Xinhua News Agency; Dateline: CHITWAN, Nepal. Record Number: ChkhaeE000047_20120210_GWTFN1_fake. COPYRIGHT 2012 Xinhua News Agency.
Policing is a vital part of the security institution in Nepal, and efforts have been made to mobilize the police to meet the needs of society. Established in 2004, community police in Nepal have been working to achieve security, justice, and public order. To achieve these goals, community police have coordinated with several social institutions in the community to work on problems such as household violence, children’s issues, drugs, and other social ills. In addition, community police focus more on improvement than on punishment.
Apart from security, justice, and public order, community police are involved in humanitarian tasks as well. For example, the community police unit in Chitwan assists in providing shelters for street children and female victims of war and domestic abuse. Community police have also been providing scholarships and stationery to deserving students from poor economic backgrounds in coordination with various educational institutions. Head Constable of Community Policing Gokarna Prasad Dhakal noted, “We give counseling to school and college children for their mistakes rather than taking direct actions on them because in the long run it might have a negative impact on the future of these children. Therefore, if they are caught doing anything wrong, we bring [in] their parents and give counseling together.”
There are still a number of obstacles to successful community policing in Nepal, including a lack of resources and budget and the difficulty of establishing coordination and cooperation with the community. On the positive side, Dhakal says, “Since the community is involved, information is delivered very quickly because of which our actions can be prompt.”
Dhakal has been involved with community policing as an officer for three years and says, “I am very satisfied with my job. . . . It gives me a feeling of self-contentment to be able to build the society. Now I am directed toward doing something for the society and [helping] the society transform itself as well.”
- Skeptics of Nepal’s community policing efforts would argue that law enforcement officers should be fighting crime, not providing counseling to school and college children. What would justify these efforts as the best use of the Security Institution’s limited resources?
- The community police have shifted their focus in many cases from punishment to improvement. Do you believe that these efforts are effective at fighting crime?
- Is there anything that U.S. law enforcement can learn from Nepal’s efforts?