NEWS of the Day - July 4, 2013
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...

We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...


Detroit to expand community policing program after decline in home invasions

A pilot program that launched a year ago and aimed at reducing home invasions in Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale community is expected to expand to other parts of the city.

“My No. 1 priority is reducing violence in this city,” incoming Police Chief James Craig said during a news conference today in the tree-lined community in northwest Detroit where officials said home invasions decreased by about 25% percent in a one-year period.

Craig, who officially starts his new job Monday, said he plans to replicate many of the strategies used to reduce home invasions in the area — which went down from 269 to 201 — in other parts of the city.

“I want to continue to look at the home invasion,” he said. “Nothing strikes fear in a community more than people's home being burglarized.”

The pilot program involved residents, the Detroit Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which funded the initiative.

Michael Allegretti with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a think tank based in New York, said the goal was to reduce home invasions in three key ways: teaching residents how to identify suspicious behavior and how to report it, having police interact with members of the community and Detroit police partnering with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to go to homes of people on probation and parole deemed likely to commit crime.

Success is measured in the reduction of home invasions and the look and feel of the community, Allegretti said.

“It's our belief that in order to make an impact on crime that we need to communicate more, and we need to have more contacts with people under our supervision,” said Michael Alexander, MDOC regional administrator.

MDOC has placed four agents within the Detroit Police Department, including two in the Grandmont Rosedale area, he said. Those employees work inside the precincts, go out with police and share information with them.

“When we talk about reducing incidents of crime, there's also the issue of reducing the fear of crime,” Craig said. “People that live in our neighborhoods must feel safe... If you don‘t feel safe, we haven't accomplished our full goal.”

The program focused on the area of West McNichols to Schoolcraft and Evergreen to Southfield.




British-Nigeria community policing project moves to Enugu, Kano, Abuja others


The British-Nigeria community policing project will soon spread to other parts of Nigeria, following the success recorded in Lagos, www.allvoices.com reporter can authoritatively say.

The project, a partnership between the British and Nigerian government is aimed at training people at the community level across the 774 local government areas and 36 states of the federation on the need to work with the police as the most visible government security agency to tackle insecurity.

Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria was chosen be the British team as the pilot state for the commencement of the project, even as   Josephine Effah-Chukwuma,   coordinator of Justice-4-All, is the anchor person between the two countries.

Checks revealed that Isokoko, Adeniyi Adele, Ilupeju, Bar Beach and Ikoyi police stations are some of the stations in Lagos, south-west Nigeria where the police-public partnership project has been successfully implemented.

Residents of these areas have bee trained for the voluntary policing of their communities by the British officials in conjunction with   Justice-4-All,   our reporter gathered.

The British training team, from our findings will soon move over to Enugu, Kano, and Abuja in what is regarded as the second phase in the series of training of community dwellers to work with the police in tackling insecurity.




Solving crime through community policing

Instead of talking about re-introducing Emergency Ordinance, the government should prioritize to solve crime without violating human rights.

by Kua Kia Soong

The attempt by the government and its media to pin the blame for the rising incidence of crime on the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance is a devious attempt to reintroduce detention without trial.

This is a further indication of the Najib administration's rather tenuous adherence to democratic reform.

There are at least three strong reasons for opposing any return to detention without trial:

1. It is a gross violation of human rights.

For decades, our country has been relying on detention without trial laws to deal with all manner of “problems” including putting away opposition leaders and other innocent people like myself.

The repeal of the ISA and the EO last year was the least any reforming government had to do. Any attempt to bring back so-called “preventive” laws to deal with suspected criminals is a retrograde step and will be seen as a downright betrayal by the Najib government after its GE13 pledge.

Apart from violating the detainees' right to due process, EO detainees have also been subjected to physical and emotional torture as Suaram's annual human rights reports show.

The EO also violates Article 5 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees a person's right to trial and right to be defended by a legal practitioner.

2. The detention of the six PSM leaders has exposed the arbitrary use of EO

Like the ISA, the EO has been used by the police and home ministry as a convenient means to arrest and detain whoever they want.

More often than not, the arrests made under the EO are also of a speculative nature instead of (so-called) “preventive”, resulting in many innocent people being arrested.

Many victims of the EO have never had a criminal record. This has included the six upright PSM leaders in 2011.

By so doing, the police and the government have lost all credibility in claiming that the EO is necessary to deal with hardened criminals. The EO is too broad and leaves too much room for corruption as witnessed in the many cases of police officials profiting from the invocation of the EO.

This fact alone – that the police and home ministry have abused the EO by detaining innocent political leaders – is sufficient to take the moral air out of the myth that “preventive” laws are necessary to apprehend criminals.

3. Other countries have succeeded in solving crime without “preventive” laws

The Malaysian government should accept the reality that it has failed to solve the ever increasing incidence of crime and address the factors responsible for this failure, namely, corruption, lack of political will, allocation of human resources, among others.

The New York lesson

Again, if we can point to one example in the world where they have succeeded in solving this problem of crime without resort to detention without trial, the Malaysian government's argument falls…

Remember how New York City used to have the dubious reputation of being the crime capital in the world, racked with murders, burglaries, drug deals, car thefts, and other crimes?

New York's drop in crime during the 1990s was correspondingly astonishing—indeed, there was even a day recently when there was no crime reported at all for all 24 hours! In a span of only a few years New York's murder rate plummeted from a high of 2,300 murders in 1990 to fewer than 600 since then, and has continued on a downward spiral for more than 10 years.

This represents a reduction in the murder rate of more than 70 per cent and overall crime by 75 per cent. Car thefts fell from 150,000 per year to less than 20,000 per year.

I do not intend to discuss criminologists and sociologists' explanations for this here. All we need note is that New York, Boston and in fact many other cities in the world have succeeded in tackling their crime problems without any resort to so-called “preventive” laws such as the EO.

They used a combination of diverse methods that worked such as neighborhood organizations and community courts.

Among the methods used, New York City hired 10,000 new police officers that increased the total to a formidable force of 40,000; civilians were hired for police administration duties, freeing police officers for beat patrol and more judges were hired to reduce the time spent processing criminals.

Community policing was introduced while technology was employed to track high-crime areas; the number of undercover and narcotics officers was increased; truant patrols removed school children from the streets during school hours and parents were held accountable.

Unemployed and homeless men and women were put to work cleaning parks, streets, and drains or entered into job training programs. Illegal joints were shut down and religious organizations and community organizations also played a major role.

Boston is also enjoying its lowest crime rates in three decades. The city uses strategic and data-driven management approach; it works in partnership with the community to fight crime, reduce fear, and improve neighborhood quality of life.

It takes proactive measures that reflect public safety and the department's philosophy of neighborhood policing. The department not only tracks and reports on serious crimes, but also sets district-specific goals.

It promotes accountability and creates a learning organization by spreading best practices and lessons learned across the department. Thus, community policing is key. The police work with the clergy, with communities, large industries as well as non-profit organizations.

But for all this to work there has to be the political will and the stamping out of corruption from the highest level of the police force to the mata mata on the beat.

Then we have to prioritize more police officers on beat patrol instead of spying on law abiding citizens, breaking up peaceful assemblies and all the work connected to detaining citizens without trial.

Kua Kia Soong is human rights organization Suaram's advisor.




Community policing officers to interact with Wilmington residents in city parks

Beginning Wednesday and continuing through the end of August, Wilmington residents can interact with their community policing officers each week while enjoying the safety of the city's parks.

Each Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., the Community Policing Unit will be stationed in a different park across the city to allow adults and children to meet their community police officers in a casual environment.

Different informational activities also will be presented in the parks that residents can take part in, said Cpl. Jamaine Crawford.

The dates and activities are as scheduled:

-- July 10 -- Hicks Anderson Park, 501 N. Madison St. Fire prevention information will be provided by the Wilmington Fire Department.

-- July 17 -- Christina Park, on the Riverfront. The Injury Prevention Coalition will present information on traumatic brain injury prevention and demonstrate bicycle safety techniques. The coalition will have free bike helmets to give away. Officers will be on their bikes and encourage children to come to the park on theirs.

-- July 24 -- Herman Holloway Park, Seventh and Lombard streets.

-- July 31 -- Judy Johnson Park, Third and Clayton streets. Police Day -- Assorted police units, including the K-9 unit, will be on hand for demonstrations.

-- Aug. 7 -- Eden Park, New Castle Avenue and City Line.

-- Aug. 14 -- Winchester Park, 26th Street and Speakman Place.

-- Aug. 21 -- Haynes Park, 3104 Miller Road.

-- Aug. 28 -- Kosciuszko Park, 601 S. Franklin St.

The scheduled events are aimed at creating a safe haven this summer for city residents within their neighborhoods, Crawford said.

For information, call Master Sgt. Walter Ferris at 379-9273.

Contact Terri Sanginiti at 324-2771 or tsanginiti@delawareonline.com




Crime rise raises question about community policing for G8

by Rodney Edwards

ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has questioned the level of community policing during the G8 summit last month after it emerged crime in North Fermanagh has increased.

Mr Elliott says "a number of community police officers" were taken from their regular duty in the weeks leading up to, and during the summit, with many of them tasked to focus on G8-related work.

"I am conscious that crime levels have risen in a number of areas and I am obviously worried that some police officers haven't had the opportunity to work in their own area during the long period of the overall G8 operation.

"It is important that even though this was a very important event the wider community of Fermanagh require the services of police, I trust that they will now have the time and opportunity to devote to those local communities that may not have had the level of police attention they would expect during the past four months," said Mr Elliott.

The PSNI has confirmed that crime in Irvinestown has shown a "slight increase" and attribute it primarily to a series of burglaries of unoccupied properties during late May. "This series is the subject of a live and focused investigation," said a PSNI spokesperson.

The police say that during the G8 Summit and the run up to it they took steps to ensure that local core policing responsibilities were met.

"There was an increased profile of PSNI patrolling across Fermanagh for a number of months prior to G8, this was gradually increased on the approach to the event. This increase was possible due to the provision of officers from across the service into Fermanagh. Some local officers were redeployed within the last two weeks prior to G8. A lot of these officers maintained involvement in their normal duties but assisted with the G8 operation, during which time there was not an increase in crime," said a PSNI spokesperson.

The police state that maintaining normal service delivery and meeting the ongoing needs of the community was a "key consideration" in selecting the officers that remained at their normal duty location prior to and during the summit in Enniskillen.

The PSNI spokesperson added: "Our primary aim was to ensure the G8 Summit was a safe and secure event for all concerned - primarily for our local community but also for visitors, delegates and campaigners. This included ensuring the community was protected from opportunist criminals, whilst a lot of attention was focused on the G8 and related activities."

Meanwhile, Tom Elliott wants to know why initial figures for hosting the G8 summit were "so wrong and inaccurate" after it was revealed this week that it cost £80 million.

"It is not that long ago since we were informed that the G8 would cost in the region of £50 million, then just a few weeks ago it was estimated at £60 million, now we hear the cost has been £80 million. This is over a 60 per cent increase in projections over what were very large sums of money to begin with," said Mr Elliott.

"Given this significant increase in costs many people will be asking if that is the final figure, or indeed if there will be further financial costs and if the £20 million that is required from the Northern Ireland Executive will be added to. We don't want to be informed of further finances required over the forthcoming months and years. While many people agree that the G8 was a very successful event, an £80 million bill is massive for an event that essentially lasted just over one day," he said.