The establishment of security, order and adherence to law is central to the building of post-conflict governance and a lasting peace. Without this framework new political and economic institutions will not take root. With no security, former combatants are not going to disarm; investors are not going to be attracted; new governments will not maintain their support; elections will not be free; crime waves will not be prevented; and mob justice and other forms of illegal non-state security will not be curbed. Talk of political and civil rights is pointless unless the rule of law is first made to prevail. As has been said:

Liberty begins with the protection of life secured by law … Without a political guarantee of legal recourse, there are no individual rights but only pious professions of the value of human beings. Without the rule of law, there are no human rights. It is, indeed, only in those states committed to the rule of law that liberal democracy has taken root, for a people can choose its own destiny, enjoy political liberties and civil rights, only if it is composed of free human beings.1

Policing has always been a challenge in developing countries since limited state resources constrain the size and distribution of state police. Inevitably much of the countryside is left to customary justice processes of variable integrity or to private arrangements of summary justice. Such problems are only exacerbated by the upheaval of conflict. In its aftermath the state police are integral to strengthening a legal framework of citizen rights, yet the return to civilian policing is rarely straightforward. Since it was often human rights abuses by the security forces that constituted one of the causes of armed conflict, capacity-building programmes for them raise the fear of strengthening their repressive capabilities. If there has been a history of serious abuses of human rights and civil liberties by the police then governance programmes need to recruit new personnel from both sides of the conflict. The challenge is to ensure that a post-conflict state police force is accountable through the oversight of the courts, performance monitoring by the internal affairs ministries, and critical appraisal by civil rights organisations and the press. Unless the new police force is fair, accessible, efficient and incorruptible, there is little hope that citizens will have confidence in it or in the new regime that authorises it.

The signing of a peace agreement is done in faith that security structures to build peace and to restore order will be forthcoming. For most peacekeeping operations initiated in the last 15 years, the reconstruction of security and order has focused on reforming and rebuilding the institution of the state police.2 The agenda for change in the police has invariably been extensive. It has included the integration of former fighters; the removal of past human rights abusers; the ending of illegal detention and torture; the transition from being agents of the regime to agents of the people; the eradication of the culture of immunity for the powerful; monitoring and disciplinary procedures; the adoption of non-partisanship; training programmes; the ‘professionalisation’ of the force (primarily equipment updating); and demilitarisation. Yet even assuming that as a result of new training programmes and management systems these matters are addressed, the size of state police forces vis a vis the area to police, makes their potential to secure peace, security and order very limited. The unsolved question has always been how to find and finance enough qualified state police officers to offer nation-wide coverage.

Are these and other problems associated with reforming the police in a post-conflict situation solvable or fatal? Are there any alternative approaches to policing in post-conflict situations? Can current policing programmes learn anything from history? This article examines the east African country of Uganda which suffered a lengthy civil war in the late 1980s as a result of the authoritarian and abusive rule of President Obote. It is now 18 years since the National Resistance Army seized power and brought the war to an end – long enough to review the effectiveness of the regime’s experiments with policing. On the one hand it offers examples of what can be positively achieved and sustained in the local community in a post-conflict situation. On the other there are negative lessons to learn from how it has responded to anxieties about regional security and organized crime. Below I draw out some of these lessons for post-conflict policing, following field research in Uganda February to April 2004.3

The Significance of the Local Council Structure

The process by which the Uganda state has configured itself after the conflict and the assumption of power in 1986 by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has been crucial. It has determined the levels of security, justice and order in the country. Perhaps no single institution has been so influential on law and order as the local democratic structure of Local Councils (LCs). All adults automatically become members of their village (or urban zone) council and directly elect a nine-person committee to administer its affairs, and indirectly elect parish, sub-county and district levels above that.

As peace was secured, the local government levels of the LC structure (originally known as RCs – Resistance Councils) from village (LC1) through parish (LC2) to sub-county (LC3) were given responsibility, amongst other things, for law and order. Their progressive introduction into the liberated territory during the progress of the civil war ensured that no vacuum was left by the sweeping away of the old order of appointed local chiefs. The effect of this speedy introduction of local democracy forestalled what Schärf believes is the common democratisation pattern, of an initial power vacuum. He anticipates that there will be a time gap between the discrediting and dismantling of old forms of social control and policing, and the introduction of new substitutes. This law-enforcement vacuum, he believes, is likely to be filled by non-state policing agencies that will only disappear when the state develops the capacity to cope with the problems.4 It was a vacuum that never arose in Uganda.

The duties of the LCs at the local government levels have included from the beginning: the mobilisation of the local community in law and order matters; law enforcement through the LC funded Local Administrative Police (LAP); the gathering of criminal data; the service provision not only of courts but of psycho-social care of the victims of crime; the establishment of byelaws that reflect local needs; and LC Courts.5 It appears that most participants have treated their role as councillors of LCs seriously and have acted effectively. As a result, LCs have had a remarkable ordering effect on social life and have acted as the first line of protection against disorder and crime and the first point of call when it does occurs. Everywhere it is common to hear people say that they turn first to the LC1 for protection from disorder and crime (often in terms of night patrols, although these are sometimes only activated during periods of insecurity and many question their effectiveness). When surveyed as to where people go to solve a problem, 85 per cent said the LC alone or first and when asked ‘how has the LC made life better’ 35 per cent mentioned ‘peace and security’ and 22 per cent ‘problem solving’.6 Likewise they turn first to the LC1 in cases of breaches of law and order. Even big plantation managers take fights between their workers to the LC1 first and liaise closely with LC1 chairs ‘if a worker is out of order’.7 Further, in the LC Courts people have accessible justice when there are issues that cannot be resolved by the family or clan. It is justice in their own language, from a body that respects local traditions and is in turn respected, since leaders have been chosen that are known, experienced and stand for the new values of the NRM popular revolution.8 In addition, of course, the LC1 patrols or LC3 home guards, plus the LC courts, offer a framework of justice that is not financially burdensome on the state. It appears that it is the success of the LC system that largely accounts for the relative absence of informal and illegal policing and justice – something so common in the rest of Africa. With a popular and accessible law and order provision at the local community level, there is little space left for them to emerge.

This is not to say that there are not problems. Justice Professor Kanyeihamba admits that ‘records show that the exercise of judicial powers by some of the local councils and councillors and officials has been inadequate, illegal and in some instances, corrupt’.9 There are the problems, too, of widespread popular ignorance of the law (e.g. understanding that ‘marriage’ to and sex with an under 18 is ‘defilement’; understanding that begging can be classified as the offence of ‘idleness’). LC courts have been accused of exceeding their authority by hearing criminal cases. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the LC courts are at times sources of injustice, due to bribery and male dominance. They are also thought to hand out sentences that are beyond their powers, such as corporal punishment and banishment from the village. One Police inspector commented, perhaps with a certain amount of understandable exaggeration and frustration, that LC Courts ‘don’t know anything’ as regards the law since they lack training. There are also complaints from the LCs at local government level that local revenues and LC5 District assistance are insufficient to run the service adequately.10 Some of these weaknesses will be eliminated in a proposed new statute (Local Council Courts Bill), but the main point is that the difficulties experienced are primarily ones of implementation, training and resources that can be remedied. The fundamentals of a local law and order system, however, have been in place since the end of the conflict and have endured. Uganda is not faced, as many African countries, with a local system of customary courts functioning outside of the state and with different values and procedures that awaits incorporation into the state system.

To examine just how effective LC1s have been on law and order in the post-conflict years, I consider below four LCs, two rural and two urban.

LC Provision of Law and Order in Rural Villages

The fishing village of Busaabala on the edge of Lake Victoria has a diverse mix of ethnic groups. Given that the nearest Police post is 8 km away, they naturally see themselves as the principal law enforcers in the village. The LC1 court is ready to meet immediately for vital cases or on a regular weekly basis for less urgent matters. Typical cases handled include fighting and stealing. It also operates a nightly patrol, paid for by charging all households Ugandan Shillings (Sh) 500 per month (about 30 US cents). More than 40 of the villagers have been trained by the local District Crime Prevention Panel to be ‘crime preventers’ (see more below). This has raised awareness of what the law requires and given the ‘crime preventers’ confidence to contact the Police to receive practical help.11

The success, in the eyes of the men of the LC1 leadership, in preserving law and order in the village was evidenced, in their view, by the fact that often there are not enough cases to warrant a LC1 Court meeting for a month or so and none could remember a case of mob justice in recent years. There was, however, a qualification from the women, who defined law and order as more than the absence of crime. They defined it positively in terms of responsible behaviour, especially by men and youths. So one of their greatest concerns was husbands that spent the money they earned from fishing on alcohol. This may not be a crime in the legal sense, but for the women it meant that, instead of the men spending time with their families in the day or their money on their families, they were inclined to disregard their duties. It led, in their view, to ‘immoral tendencies’ and ‘made it a difficult place to raise children’. Another qualification of the women concerned the LC1 directly. Some believed it was ‘not functional’ for several reasons. First, some perceived that those born in the village dominated the later migrants and got their way more with the LC1. Second, some felt access was difficult because they feared the men might not listen to them and would give more weight to those with money. One even went so far as to accuse the LC1 of being ‘cowardly’ before those with money and of being ‘easily intimidated’ by them. Third, the full village council met very infrequently; or rather, it met if there was a serious mater, but did not keep to regular set dates.12

The second study was of Mugusu, a village of 640, 9 km south of Fort Portal, in the west. It runs a market every week, which increases its proneness to certain offences. Since the rebel ADF crisis 1998-2002 the area is described as ‘safe’; ‘we are really sleeping’. The LC1 do not run a patrol (the LC3 run a voluntary 20 strong home guard that covers the villages of the sub-county) and see little of the Police. For the LC1 councillors overall prevalence of law and order was due to their close knowledge of one another. Others, however, reported fairly regular occurrences of petty theft, drunken fights, rape/defilement and domestic violence. Perhaps the fact that many of these were not reported or were related to market visitors explains the fact that the LC1 court had few problems to attend to. For those market traders that were caught stealing, there was a prohibition from returning. None could remember a case of mob justice in the last four years. The overall success in preserving law and order in the village was qualified however. Older persons commonly defined law and order to include morality, particularly sexual morality. They expressed serious concern about young people from their village and those who were attracted to the market and the disco that followed it. They spoke of unemployed school drop outs drinking too much, being promiscuous, taking drugs and resorting to theft and generally saw the youth as a potentially destabilising factor in the village and surrounding sub-counties.13

LC Provision of Law and Order in Urban Zones

The importance of LC1s in policing urban zones has proved just as significant. Take the example of Luziga Zone, Kampala. This high density area is home for people from a wide variety of ethnic groups from Uganda and from Rwanda and Congo. Despite the lack of natural homogeneity and long term residence, inhabitants report that it is ‘98 per cent safe’ and has grown much safer over the last few years as pickpocketting by street children has been eradicated. The improvement is largely attributed to the work of the LC1, which itself is multi-racial. To tackle crime the LC1 instigated a patrol that arrested pickpockets and others and took them to the LC1 Court or Police. Their pay comes from a contribution from every door of Sh500 per month. The LC1 Court meets twice a week, though they often go ‘three weeks without a case’. The cases that do come before them concern domestic violence, fighting and illegal building structures. Because they deal effectively with these issues their occurrence has declined and there have been no incidents of mob justice ‘in the last few years’. Though problems with law and order are first taken to the LC1 by the community, there is said now to be a good relationship with the Police (their police post is only 500m away) and they find them co-operative and respectful.14

Mbiro Zone, Kampala adjoins Luziga Zone and is similarly diverse ethnically. Residents report that before the end of the conflict there was a high crime rate, including murder, kidnapping of children, rape, defilement and the illegal possession of weapons. Since then, however, crime has been greatly reduced and this is attributed largely to the work of the LC1, although they do not operate a night patrol. ‘We have power. As people together we fight the crime’. None could remember when the last incident of mob justice occurred, although it had been common in the 1980s. As with Luziga, the LC1 court doesn’t always have a case to try for months on end. Typical cases include domestic violence, theft, simple assaults, land issues and disputes between landlords and tenants. They readily admit that when the court began they were not fully aware of which cases came within their remit and which were the duty of the Police. But following Police training they now feel confident about what their legal powers are. In fact, they sometimes rebuke the Police who come to deal with a case that it is too petty for them and should be left to the LC1. Like the other LC1s, they also report a marked improvement in their relationship with the Police.15 Thus though it might have been expected that a rural system of collective communal control would break down when it came to transient, mixed ethnic and unfamiliar populations, the supervisory and ordering functions of the LCs persists.

The LC structure, introduced as the civil war was coming to an end at the local urban and rural government level has successfully provided law and order in the community. Beyond that, as the rest of the article will show, it significantly supports other policing structures, such as the Uganda Police, Crime Prevention Panels and Interior Security Organisation (ISO). With minimal cost and training requirements it has offered a nationwide effective and legitimate policing structure following a time of discredited local justice, predatory police and state collapse.

However, it should not be assumed that there are no matters for concern. Besides the issues raised above, there is always a danger of declining enthusiasm and commitment when a system relies heavily on volunteers. The longer that system continues, the more pressing the question of how LC justice structures can be sustained if they are dependent on voluntary participation. Put differently, once revolutionary fervour has waned and volunteerism subsides, how much will it cost to set up and sustain local participation in policing?16 The research found evidence that already full LC1 Meetings are only being attended by activists or those with a pressing crisis and that the meetings themselves are often not held unless there is an emergency. Likewise there was some evidence of a disinclination by youth to work within its structures. With reported crimes still rising according to Police statistics (even if this is a measure of greater willingness to come forward), there is no place for complacency that the local provision of law and order through LCs will always be adequate.17 Even now, some inhabitants in poorer areas have already decided that LC night patrols are not effective and have secured the services of commercial guards.

The Impact of the Uganda Police Reforms on the Public

Despite the effectiveness of the LCs, the post-conflict regime has always recognised that the Uganda Police have an important part to play in providing security and law and order throughout the country. Under the constitution the responsibility is theirs for life and property. As their Mission Statement says, they are there to: ‘secure life and property in partnership with the public in a committed and professional manner in order to promote development’. Nevertheless there has never been a period since the war when they have not been seriously overstretched. Currently they have 13,000 personnel – well below the 40,000 needed to provide the goal of 1 per 600 citizens. Nor have they ever had adequate transport. One sub-district of over two million has just 184 personnel and one motor bike.18 Fort Portal police has no vehicles or motorbikes to cover the town of 45,000.19 If policing only consisted of the Police, then there would be serious problems.20

The post-conflict period has seen a succession of positive reforms that have enhanced their effectiveness (e.g. the introduction of a Research and Planning Department 1992; a separate Inspectorate 1997 to evaluate performance; A Community Affairs Department 1998; A Legal Department 1989 which in 1999 took on a Human Rights Desk and a Complaints Desk; a Private Security and Police Firearms Department 2001; and a Police Marines Department 2002). Management issues have been addressed (with management units at the level of the directorate, department, region, district and station) and discipline improved (especially following the Ssebutinde independent judicial commission of inquiry into corruption in the Police, 2000).21 Their role has also been redefined, with their withdrawal from guarding and escort duties in favour of private security companies. The imminent incorporation of LAP into the Uganda Police is also intended to address the problems experienced with this locally controlled force, which in the past has handled crimes too serious for it and has at times been starved of funding by LCs that did not pass on all central government funds allocated to them.22 If this progress has been slow it is because the process of changing police culture in a society that has undergone massive upheaval is inevitably so.

As regards the local community perception, the biggest change since the civil war has been in the relationship between the public and the Police. This has not happened quickly. Until relatively recently the Police were still regarded with suspicion and fear. Yet now, whatever the criticisms concerning their slowness to respond, and persistent claims by the majority of those interviewed of Police bribe seeking (confirmed by the Inspector General of Government’s assertion of the Police as the most corrupt institution in the country)23, the almost universal response in research interviews was that the Police were now friendly, approachable and showed respect to all citizens. Police may not always be close at hand to many citizens, but generally people would not hesitate to call upon them if there was something that needed their assistance. This is a remarkable turn around, the more so given that across much of Africa the Police are often held in contempt and fear. Of course there are still hangovers from the past and for all the reforms, the Police are still troubled by charges of human rights abuses, especially excessive force (even according to reports of the Police’s own Human Rights Desk, complaints run into the hundreds each year).24 Likewise they are repeatedly charged with political partisanship in the increasingly heated political atmosphere of emerging multi-partyism.

One of the issues a post-conflict government has to address is the balance between a centralisation that offers the benefits of tighter control and better funding, and local control that offers greater accountability and specific responses to local needs. 18 years after the war this is still an issue in Uganda. Centralisation is not only apparent in the bringing of LAP under the Uganda Police, but with the emergence of central military units to address serious organised crime that at one period in the late 80s and early 90s took hold of Kampala. For instance, the response to armed robbery was the creation of Operation Wembley, later called the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU), under the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), which itself is part of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). With its recruitment of informers, Operation Wembley was very successful in breaking up the criminal gangs or driving them away. Yet the cost was a loss of accountability and inevitably, accusations that criminal elements had corrupted personnel. Further, the military style ‘shoot to kill’ policy against armed robbers and use of military courts to try suspects clearly weakens judicial procedures. Most people are indeed glad that organised crime has been driven from Kampala (one prosperous Asian business man in Kampala said: ‘Operation Wembley had a big impact; it was 100 per cent successful’; a rural LC3 chairman said, ‘they did a good job, they got seven armed robbers the Police had failed to get, but their method was not good’). However, some traders criticise the VCCU for arrogance, seizing goods with no evidence and ‘framing’ people. There are also question marks over the increasing involvement of the VCCU and ISO in investigating what might be termed ‘ordinary’ crime. Although there is a Police CID, criminal investigation at the sub-county level is increasingly being undertaken by ISO operatives.25 ISO has recently been exposing ‘ghost’ payments by the Ministry of Finance for procurements and ‘ghost’ schools that were taking government money. Said ISO Director-General, Col. Elly Kayanja, upon unearthing 20 ‘ghost schools’: ‘anyone who subverts or aids and abets subversion of delivery of quality education to our people is a legitimate security target and we shall move on them with the vigour we moved with on the thugs’.26 In other words, ISO has developed an investigative capability against serious crimes and fraud that in a civilian government is normally a role for Police CID.27

This pattern of centralisation and militarisation of policing in post-conflict states and new democracies in the face of rising crime has been noted before: ‘The growth of crime itself in transitional societies has in many cases undercut the growth of local forms of policing by ensuring more centralised and militarised responses to disorder’.28 Unfortunately it works against the very legitimacy that states are trying to create for their forces after years of abuse under authoritarian regimes:

All transitional societies have had to balance the requirement of ensuring local accountability (which remains weak in all cases) with centralised control – the desire to manage change from the centre to ensure both that it occurs uniformly and that local groups (who may oppose the central state) do not obtain control of the police in their area.29

State Approved Self-policing

Given the limitations of size and skills of state Police forces in post-conflict situations, governments should consider how citizens can be mobilised in an acceptable way to play a role in keeping law and order and in implementing anti-crime strategies. There is a huge potential in mobilising communal self-interest to join in the effort, even if the strategy will inevitably see the emergence of some undesirable elements. The NRM government has never insisted that policing must be a state monopoly. Instead, it has sought security partners who will work within the law and under its supervision. Two types of citizen self-policing have emerged in the post-conflict period: one initiated by the Police themselves and one originating from commercial interests.

The Uganda Police introduced community policing three years after the end of the civil war, although only now is it beginning to take root. The main emphasis has been on education in the law and on crime prevention through regular spots on 40 radio FM stations, in newspapers and through workshops in schools. 200 Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) also exist, one located at every police station. They have been instrumental in initiating, Police Dialogues with the community over security issues, Neighbourhood Watch schemes for 70 urban and rural communities, and Crime Prevention Panels.30

Crime Prevention Panels are planned for every sub-county or district, though currently they are only successful operating in a few districts. They consist of local residents that are trained in crime prevention with a view, not only to empowering people about crime prevention and the requirements of the law, but also that citizens and communities will accept responsibility themselves for law and order in their locality. Two models of Crime Prevention Panels are emerging: one based on the community at large and one based on work associations/employment groups. Their difference of emphasis can be appreciated by examining three successful Panels.

Prior to the Katwe Crime Prevention Panel, Kampala, being formed in 1993, there were very negative attitudes to the Police and ‘arrests could not be made without a gun’. The common attitude was that the Police only existed ‘to arrest and to torture; they can never be friendly’ and as a result criminals were not handed over to the Police. Reinforcing the gulf was ‘an initial resistance from the local Police’ to the community policing programme, for fear of empowering the people in the field of their own expertise and of exposing Police corruption. Since the Panel’s formation a remarkable 30,000 have been trained as ‘crime preventers’. Given that the Katwe Police Division only has 400 officers and a few LAP scattered between 4 police stations and 20 police posts, this is a considerable crime prevention resource.

During the course of 30 2-hour evening sessions, these local volunteers are given training in such topics as the nature of community policing and crime prevention; the differences between criminal and civil cases; the importance of preserving the evidence at the scene of the crime; the institution of criminal proceedings; the LC judicial structure and the cases that they should and should not handle; summons and warrants; road safety; community service; bomb threats; sexual offences; human rights; constitutional rights; domestic violence; laws as they relate to children; marriage and divorce; and mob justice. The training is conducted by the Panel and the Police. It aims to sensitise citizens in crime matters, but not to turn them into police. As each group passes the training and gets the certificate, they form a local team or sub-panel. Being an entirely voluntary organisation, there are no government funds available for the scheme.

Though these ‘crime preventers’ are separate from the LC structure, they are to a considerable extent under-girded by it, since the elected Crime Prevention Panel executive includes local LC1 and LC2 chairmen and others with experience of civic responsibility. The success of the scheme lies largely in the way people have been mobilised, so that the Crime Prevention Panels are now largely self-sufficient. Though statistics are not available to prove that these ‘crime preventers’ in Katwe have reduced crime, the Katwe Police argue that it has improved the public’s perception of the Police so that ‘they do not fear them anymore’. In addition, they claim that there has been no case of mob justice in the last 3 years.31

The second model is based more on work associations than local panels and in practice is more dependent on Police input for sustainability. It has been used with Kawempe Crime Prevention Panel, in the Kawempe Division of Kampala. Because many local leaders ‘looked at everything politically’ and saw the new scheme as a ruling party project, it proved impossible to secure their interest. The approach, therefore, was to go over their heads to gain a rapport with the people. Beginning in 2000, distinct employment groups were singled out and given a sense of identity through bringing them together in associations. There then began the work of sensitising them regarding crime matters that affected their own interests. Only after that was complete was the offer made of training in crime prevention. Employment groups that were brought together in associations included milk sellers, timber merchants, motor cycle taxis, disco and video halls, teachers, probation officers, special hire companies, bars and brothels, and religious leaders. In the process of meeting with these groups, patterns of crime that particularly affected each one were identified and complaints by the public about any member’s activities were directed to these associations. In time, as they began to see their role in policing their own members and community, association members volunteered to attend the crime preventers course. Upon completing the course they were given direct line phone numbers to the District Police Commander (DPC), CID, Human Rights Desk and others, so that they felt the Police were available to help on law and order issues. Being empowered in terms of knowing what the law required, the local panels of trained crime preventers or the work associations began reporting cases of unlawful activity (including policemen demanding bribes) and making recommendations for curbing crime. Since 2000, 860 have completed the course with a further 500 expected to complete in 2004. Local NGOs have contributed to the success by providing funding for course materials. As in Katwe, groups of trained crime preventers form local panels with an elected leadership.32 It appears that crime prevention based on work associations was also introduced in Kampala Central Division, but that the associations slowly died after the first CLO moved away. It may be that this model is particularly dependent on the enthusiasm and drive of the individual CLO.

Crime Prevention Panels are far less common in rural districts, but Matugga Crime Prevention Panel demonstrates their potential there as well. Its origins go back to 1994 when accusations were made to the LC2 chairman of Police beatings following arrest. He called the DPC to a public meeting. At that meeting the DPC suggested a training course for local people on crime prevention and legal rights. The Crime Prevention Initiative begun under the LC2 Chairman’s leadership, became the Crime Prevention Panel when that scheme was introduced in 2000. It operates throughout the sub-county, where there is just one police post with up to 12 personnel, 3 Special Police Constables (SPCs) and 5 LAP. The panel has 300 members, of whom half are active. They pay an annual subscription of Sh5,000. Its male members gave as their reasons for joining: ‘to help the Police to help us and to eliminate crime’; ‘in the war up to ‘86 there were many violations of people’s rights and this was an opportunity to protect people’s rights. It was also an opportunity to learn about the law, of gaining legal advice and of avoiding costs’. Its female members said: ‘before there was fighting; now the people are restrained because they know preventers are around; it reduces crime’; ‘to assist the Police to reduce crime’; ‘in the past there were lots of crimes like rape which especially affects us as young people’. Publicity is done through the LC (some 50 per cent of panel executive members are LC members), posters, churches and the radio. They see their primary function as assisting the Police and the LCs in crime prevention. However, they are not afraid, if they feel either organisation is ineffective, ‘to report to other organs such as Kawempe Police Station, Police HQ or non-Police organs’.33

Though the Matugga Panel and LC members attributed much of the order to their own committed work, there were others that placed the success elsewhere. Some shop keepers attributed improvements to the dismantling of the local militia (Local Defence Force – LDUs). Until a few years ago these were said to have been ‘bad people’ who ‘had guns’ and ‘co-operated with thieves’. Their dismissal and replacement by SPCs was seen as a turning point. Another point of view was that of the ISO. It thought that the Police were ‘hopeless’ and ‘corrupt’ and that the crime preventers contributed little other than improving people’s knowledge of the law. The real work of addressing serious issues of crime such as cattle thieves and marijuana growers was attributed to their own work. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between the two. Everyday law and order is maintained by the LC1 and Crime Preventers working with the Police, whereas more serious threats are tackled by the ISO on the basis of information from LCs and others.

The potential of these panels is evident, so why have panels in District around Matugga only ‘taken root’ in 4 of the 16 sub-counties. Success appears to be due to both structural and contingent factors. Structurally, as already noted, the LC system has provided valuable support for the Panels by a considerable overlapping of executive personnel and through publicity. But beyond that, Panel members attribute it to both the commitment of the volunteers and to the commitment and enthusiasm of individual CLOs. After that there is often a ‘snowballing’, as success breeds success.

The Community Policing Programme with its Crime Prevention Panels represents one type of citizen self-policing, that initiated by the Police themselves. The other originates from private and commercial interests. These are less common but still important amongst traders and services. Two examples can be given, one urban one rural; one large scale, one small.

The Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) was begun in 1986, before the war ended, as a forum for taxi [minibus] drivers and owners to express their views and grievances. The taxi drivers consist of about 60,000 members (30,000 in Kampala) with 10,000 taxis. The drivers themselves elect their management committee. Initially relations with the Police were strained, as there had been a history of taxi drivers facing Police roadblocks and demands for money. Over time, however, dialogue has produced a good working relationship with the Police and a definition of respective roles. Given that taxis are the principal means of public transport for Kampala, they have considerable leverage on local politics. They have used this to establish themselves as the principal managing and policing authority of taxis nationwide. They operate a contract with the Kampala City Council to run the taxi parks. Their traffic warden department is 100 strong and, working with the Police, has responsibility for enforcing traffic regulations by taxi drivers and in directing traffic in rush-hour congestion. The department also provides help for children’s crossings. A Law Enforcement Department, trained by the Police and LC, arrests thieves and other criminals operating in the taxi park.34 For the state, allowing this self-policing clearly offers the benefits of increased resources and local knowledge. However, the disadvantage is that it loses some control. There is a political trade off, therefore, between loss of control and yet enhanced provision of policing to the benefit not just of customers, but of voters.

A smaller more rural version of commercially initiated self-policing is Matugga Village market. This busy market on the edge of Matugga is where stallholders sell produce from local farmers, to traders from Kampala. About 120 have stalls, 80 of them women. They have organised themselves into a traders association which has an elected committee. This committee is the policing agency of the market. It acts as arbitrator when there is conflict between stallholders (perhaps over theft of produce) or between stall holders and farmers (perhaps over non-payment). Their sanctions include a fine or exclusion from the market for two days. More serious problems are taken to the LC1 and the Police. They also employ a local man to guard the stalls and produce at night. He is ‘not trained but he is trustworthy’. With little help from the Police, therefore, they are able by self-organisation to enjoy security levels they call ‘fine’. No one knew of any mob justice locally since 2002.35

The Uganda Police are to be commended that they have encouraged non-state policing groups who work within the law, through offering training and co-operation. It would have been easy to have resisted allowing civilians to meddle in ‘their’ domain. There are many different ways that the partnership can be furthered. For instance, if a community policing organisation comes to a decision that requires a responder to pay back money to the complainant, the state’s enforcement machinery could be summoned to enforce the ‘judgment’. Instead of a policy of partnership, some countries have followed a path of co-optation, as regards ‘state approved’ private initiatives (e.g. Tanzania with the sungusungu anti-rustling groups). This has the advantage of bringing them operationally under the umbrella of the state Police so that excesses can be more readily controlled and the activities can receive central or local government funding. The danger is that it can kill local enthusiasm and requires additional organisational capacity by the Police.

Formal Commercial Security Groups

No post-conflict state today can ignore the commercial security sector. It often establishes itself during the course of the war and is well positioned to offer organisations, businesses and persons immediate protection in the initial fluid conditions (and sometimes sudden crime wave) of the new emerging order. In Uganda they took off, as in the rest of Africa, in the early 1990s. There are now about 87 commercial security companies. Though concentrated in the towns they are also found in rural areas guarding quarries and plantations. Their rapid growth since 1992 has been associated not just with rising crime, but with the strategic withdrawal of the Police from guarding. Since 1997 they have been licensed and supervised by the Police. Operating licences have to be renewed each year and are subject to satisfactory inspection by the Police of the company, including its armoury and the suitability of its guards. Though the regulations do require criminal vetting, training and controls on the use of firearms, they are broad enough to allow wide discretion. For example, only ‘appropriate’ insurance cover of employees is required; personnel are simply to have ‘proper and regular training’; and organisations may be deregistered if companies are ‘below the acceptable standard’. Some firms have had their operational licences withdrawn36 but elsewhere there have been problems with security guards aiding criminal activity.37

There are two ends of the market. First, there are those larger (often foreign-owned) companies that offer a range of security services such as guarding, VIP protection, risk assessment and corporate protection to companies, banks and embassies. The largest two employ some 2,000 guards between them and operate fairly thorough training e.g. in social skills, guarding skills, weapon handling, public relations and personal hygiene. Joint operations with the Police have been undertaken (e.g. following a tip off of armed robbery being imminent) and exchange of information occurs. Weapons are rented from the Police.38 Interestingly one of the companies gave applicants a polygraph test to determine their ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’ and use the polygraph test to investigate crimes within companies.

At the other end of the market are smaller local companies that focus on providing guards for individual properties and businesses. Only some of the smaller companies undertake training of guards. They guard both public (e.g. hospitals, government ministries) and private property and offer cash escort. The level of training varies between thorough and basic, but the most striking difference is recruitment policy. Some took recruits only from the army, Police and prison service (it meant training was not necessary); others preferred to recruit from inexperienced candidates (‘since the Police are corrupt’). There was also considerable variation on how companies perceived their relationship with the Police. Some companies (particularly one that also undertook private investigation) regretted that there was no co-operation from the Police since they were seen as rivals; another said they offered information to the Police, but information from the Police only came on request; another said that there was an exchange of information both ways. One even said it worked with the Police at public occasions and rallies (this is offered free to the police as a public service).39

This is a fast growing sector that now undertakes what was previously done by the Police. As such, it relieves them of work pressure or offers them partnership in certain activities, such as ambushes of robbers and policing of large public functions. Certainly the area of exchange of information could be regularised and enhanced and more joint operations considered. Given the variety of quality among companies, it might be considered prudent to bring them under tighter legislative control, rather than leave it to Police operational control under the statutory instruments of the Police Statute 1994. Issues that might be addressed concern specific training requirements and standards; the quality of the vetting of criminal records (some senior retired Police Officers report that fingerprint records are inconsistently taken); the sourcing of weapons (is it appropriate for the Police to have a commercial relationship in the hire of weapons with those they licence?; should all companies have a right to importing weapons? – at present it is discretionary, granted by the Minister of Interior on the recommendation of the Police); the permission for guards to use weapons when a suspect of a serious crime is resisting arrest; the level of public indemnity insurance required; the standards and speed of criminal vetting of fingerprints by the Police; the use of communications equipment; and protection of information and privacy. Legislation could make it an offence to employ an unregistered person and company, meaning that the client can also be prosecuted. Perhaps an independent Security Officers Board, like that used in South Africa, could be considered. The greatest challenge, however, for any post-conflict state, is to produce a national integrated security policy that incorporates the security companies as active partners.

Some have argued for extending privatisation, placing most policing functions, apart from where the use of firearms is required, in the hands of commercial companies. In its favour such a strategy would release state Police to specialise in ‘bandit catching’.40 Superficially it is attractive to consider tapping into the manpower and transport resources of the commercial security industry. However, the industry is still relatively young in Uganda and such a policy is not likely to be attractive to governments wedded to the principle that all social services should be offered on the basis of universal provision rather than being no more than a guaranteed minimum provision.

Mob Justice

It was said earlier that the success of the LC system largely accounts for the relative absence of informal and illegal policing and justice. Whilst it is true that popular and accessible law and order provision restricts the room for their emergence, mob-justice has still not been eradicated from Uganda. Mobs still target alleged criminals or witches. They engage in stonings, beatings, machete attacks and burning alive or stripping suspects of their clothes and parading them through the streets. In April 2001 the Inspector General of Police, Major General Wamala, estimated that more than 1,000 persons had been killed by mob violence since 1991 and called for an end to the practice. Likewise the National Political Commissar, Dr. Kiyonga, called mob justice, ‘another type of insecurity’. Admitting that it was rampant in many parts of the country, he called for the use dialogue through elders to resolve conflicts. Where that was beyond their powers, he called for issues to be forwarded to the courts.41 Despite such appeals, the practice continues across all parts of the country and in both rural and town environments. For example, the press alone reported 11 incidents from January 2003 to March 2004 from every region of the country and many more went unreported. There were ‘lynchings’ (i.e. mob murders) for suspected murder, theft, personal injury, defilement and witchcraft.

Mob justice is often a problem in post-conflict situations when policing structures and justice systems are yet to be established. There is no short cut to eradicating it, as Uganda’s experience shows. The solution is nothing less than to address the underlying issues that precipitate the need for it. These are primarily perceived failure by legal institutions in tackling crime. For instance criticism is made about inefficiency, inaction, lack of resources and inadequate training, as well as corruption and complicity with criminals. For citizens not persuaded of the adequacy of the LC system to tackle their problems, the best approach appears to be civic education. In this regard there is considerable value in encouraging the Crime Prevention Panels. Apart from anything else it keeps citizens, particularly ones with limited access to the media, abreast of legal developments. Awareness, for instance, about bail laws can defuse resentment based on the misunderstanding that the fact that a suspect has been released pending trial does not mean that the state has acquitted him/her. Further, civil education can address the belief, widespread in much of Africa, that women can be sexually harassed and assaulted.

As with all non-state policing systems that operate outside the law, it is vital that those who support mob justice be strongly challenged and that those who undertake it be effectively prosecuted to show that the state and community will not tolerate it. However the consistent testimony of Uganda’s LCs, the Uganda Police and the public is that it is on the decrease, sometimes quite dramatically. One senior police officer said that when he took up his post in 2003 ‘mob justice was an almost daily occurrence’. When interviewed in 2004 he believed it had been reduced ‘by 70 per cent’. He attributed the drop to active pursuit of the culprits and sensitisation of the public in the places where it had occurred.42

Responding to Multiple Choice Policing

A situation has existed in Uganda since the conflict ceased where it has been unable to provide all the required policing through its state Police. As a result a number of other state and non-state agencies have arisen in the post-conflict period to fill the gaps. For the most part these have been harnessed and controlled by the state to assist in its security and ordering programme. The situation on the ground therefore is one of multi-choice policing. That is, there is a geographical overlapping of policing agencies so that Ugandans commonly move into and out of spheres of policing authorisers and providers or may be in a position to choose between providers where there is multiple provision. Citizens are faced with a choice in many situations as to what body they look to for protection and/or response to crime and disorder. They are rarely users of either private or public policing, as if these were mutually exclusive categories. As people move about their daily business, or as the time of day changes, so they may move from the sphere of one policing agency to which they would naturally look for protection, to another or be faced at times with a choice of agency to be made in terms of personal experience, preference for mentality (surveillance or punishment), cost or communal status. The extended family may protect the home, but it is the LC1 that sorts out the minor disturbance at the village bar, the vendors committee that mediates a settlement over theft in the market from a fellow trader, the illegal vigilante group or legal militia that pursues the cattle rustlers from a rival tribe, the UTODA marshal that handles the bus station pickpocket, the commercial security guard that secures the entrance to the city shop, the Uganda Police that are called if someone is raped in the park and the ISO or VCCU that tackles the sub-county gang that robs stores. Policing, as it is experienced in Uganda, is a complex pattern of overlapping policing agencies.

In the light of this, the focus of donor programmes and much academic literature on state policing for the post-conflict period seems ill conceived. As this research has shown, in Uganda, as in most African countries, there are often a surprising number of policing agencies – non-state and state, offering localised protection of different levels of legality, effectiveness, availability, methods and services. For Africans their experiences, or choices in as much as they have them, are based on ‘what is available’, ‘what works best’ and ‘what can I afford’, more than issues of who controls the policing body and to whom are they accountable.43 Indeed familiar security terminology becomes problematic as popular understanding gives different shades of meaning or different applications. Thus ‘public’ and ‘private’ do not exist as straightforward terms in popular experience. Public policing not only often fails to serve all equally44, but neither is it free. To secure the interest, investigation and prosecution of a criminal case may well necessitate people offering payment to the Police, as the IGG has confirmed. And yet, ‘public’ and ‘private’ may well mean something in terms of the law and communal mores being enforced, despite the evident contradictions and confusions in their formal relationships.

It seems to me that the focus on post-conflict policing must not be to build a state police monopoly, which even if it could be achieved would not provide all the security and order required. Rather it is to assume that multi-choice policing will be the norm and therefore to confront the question: to what extent do security provisions overlap in competitive or co-operative modes? Is there an interpenetration of personnel and techniques between groups, or are the relationships one of competition more than co-operation? This is not about state withdrawal from the security sector, but about the degree to which the post-conflict government constructs a law and order policy that is based on incorporating all acceptable policing groups. As Loader and Walker argue:

The state (alone) possesses the knowledge and expertise required to ‘steer’ the delivery of services among diverse police forms [and] to coordinate the relationship of policing agencies to other governmental authorities … state action is thus needed if policing is to be delivered efficiently, equitably or (even) at all.45

As a starter, a key question is: what contribution can each group make to the safety of the person and their property, and to appropriate restorative and punitive responses to abuses? To view plural policing as a potential solution to law and order issues, does not mean a blanket acceptance of all providers. The government has to clearly define the desired relationship between the different policing structures and set the parameters.

The lesson form Uganda for more recent post-conflict states is that government has much to gain from allowing the reality of multi-choice policing and exploiting its potential of extending order and security. The challenge is for government to work closely with other policing groups so that they will perform a genuine service to society and not become too independent and self-serving. The positive approach is captured well by Scharf:

The celebration of the rich diversity of non-state justice systems should be the policy that is adopted and promoted, as long as they fall within constitutional limits. There might have to be some monitoring and training, which should be conducted in the spirit of positive development as opposed to curtailment and control. Local government and the security agencies should become involved in the non-state ordering initiatives by supporting them in ways which are not too resource intensive. Non-state justice should NOT be an issue which only the police are tasked to deal with.46

Nor is this something separate from government concerns with post-conflict development. It is now becoming popular to regard law and order issues as an entry-point to development projects. In other words, to address law and order holistically as a development issue and not only as a policing issue. The assumption is that a general improvement in the quality of life should reduce crime, though this has yet to be proven. Forums can bring together every local community organisation, international NGO and government agency concerned with improving the quality of life in the community. Together they can develop a community safety plan and share human and physical resources. They can also create channels for referral to services provided by one another. Once a need is identified, options can be sought that are both state and non-state, or joint projects. The key principle is different institutions working towards the same goal but using their core strength.47

Conclusion

Conflict reduces a society to its foundations. Invariably little is left of security and ordering structures except that which has been discredited or decimated during the course of the violence. Yet it does offer a unique opportunity to put in place the policing features that, with hindsight, are seen to have been neglected in the pre-conflict period. It provides a rare occasion when the premise about the nature of policing and the role of the state can be seriously questioned. It would be a tragedy if post-conflict societies were simply to try to rebuild their former Western model of policing that so signally failed in the past.

Uganda’s 18 post-conflict years offer some promises and warnings. Positively, they show effective and nationwide local policing need not be resource intensive or centrally organised. The LC system penetrates every local community with a first line of crime defence and security assistance. No matter how poor the community, it is willing to provide voluntary help to make a difference, if they can access training. Even in the commercial sector there is sufficient evidence to show that many businesses are willing to offer security information, facilities and even manpower to enhance public policing. They are not solely driven by the needs of their customers. Harnessing these other policing agencies can dramatically extend the effectiveness of government security provision. Handled correctly they need not pose a threat to the state police and none of them requires great expense.

But the 18 years have not been without policing strategies that are questionable. It may be that organised crime, terrorism and continued rebel activity provide challenges beyond the resources of local volunteers and commercial guarding enterprises. The militias assembled in the northern areas of rebel conflict have proved ineffective and lawless. Ill-armed and ill-trained militia cannot (by themselves) provide security, as demonstrated by their failure to withstand the Lord’s Resistance Army in the massacre of 200 people in Barlonyo IDP camp in February 2004. Likewise the militarised anti-crime units have been based on the principle that the end of crime eradication justifies the means of extra-judicial procedures. Such militarisation of policing is a tragic repeat of some of the excesses that triggered the civil war in the 1980s.

The post-conflict state in Uganda is progressing down three paths at once: a path of facilitating local community policing; a path of professionalising the Uganda police; and a path of militarising organized-crime prevention. What it has still to produce after 18 years of peace is a comprehensive policing policy that will include and supervise all the state and non-state policing agencies.

  1. Kriegel, B. (1995), The State and the Rule of Law, Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp. 37, 50. [return]
  2. For example: Marenin, O. (1998), ‘The Goal of Democracy in International Police Assistance Programs’ Policing, 21.1, 159-177; Neild, R. (2000), ‘Democratic Police Reforms in War-torn Societies’, Conflict Security and Development, 1, 21-43. [return]
  3. The research on which this article is based is part of an ESRC funded research programme (Award Reference: R000271293). The author gratefully acknowledges this financial assistance and that of Coventry University, UK. [return]
  4. Schärf, W. (2003),Non-State Justice Systems in Southern Africa: How should Governments Respond?, available at www.ids.ac.uk/ids/law/pdfs/scharf.pdf, p. 14. [return]
  5. Interview, General Secretary, Uganda Local Authorities Association, 26 February, 2004. [return]
  6. Wunsch, J and Ottemoeller, D. (2004), ‘Uganda: Multiple Levels of Local Governance’ in Olowu, D. and Wunsch J., Local Governance in Africa: the challenges of democratic decentralization, Boulder: Lynne Rienner, p. 188. [return]
  7. Interview, Kiko Tea Estate manager, Fort Portal, Kiiroya Lameck, 2 April, 2004. [return]
  8. Barya, J. and Oloka Onyango, J. (1994). Popular Justice and Resistance Committee Courts in Uganda, New Visions Publishing, Kampala. [return]
  9. Kanyeihamba, G. (2002), Constitutional and Political History of Uganda: From 1894 to the present, Kampala: Centenary Publishing House, p. 262. [return]
  10. Interviews with LC1 Chairmen. [return]
  11. Focus group with LC1 executive members and other village leaders, Busaabala, 10 March, 2004. [return]
  12. Focus group with 20 women, Busaabala, 15 March, 2004. [return]
  13. Interviews, LC1 Chairman, Mugusu, Sarapio Gafabusa, 1 April, 2004; LC3 Mugusu sub-county,Vice Chair, Mbabazi Margaret, 2 April, 2004; LC3 Karambi sub-county, Chair, Mwiraumubi Eli, 2 April, 2004. [return]
  14. Interview, Secretary, LC1, Luziga, 12 March, 2004. [return]
  15. Focus group with 5 members of the LC executive committee, Mbiro, 12 March, 2004. [return]
  16. Schärf, W. (2003),Non-State Justice Systems in Southern Africa: How should Governments Respond?, available at www.ids.ac.uk/ids/law/pdfs/scharf.pdf. [return]
  17. In Uganda, as most developing countries, both fear of crime and victimisation rates remain high in the towns. According to Police statistics, crime committed in Kampala is rising. Some 24 people were shot dead in 2002, compared to 80 in 2003. Also, 2003 registered more cases of assault, defilement and theft. Defilement cases rose from 649 in 2002, to 999 in 2003, while aggravated assault rose by 311 cases to 647. Vehicle theft rose from 296 cases in 2002 to 319 while burglary and theft incidents increased from 454 to 543. There were 606 cases of simple robbery, up from 461, while general theft cases climbed from 3,504 to 5,073 (The Monitor, 6 January, 2004). [return]
  18. Interview, Officer in Charge, Mityana, Uganda Police, 31 March, 2004. [return]
  19. Interview, Community Liaison Officer, Fort Portal, Uganda Police, 1 April, 2004. [return]
  20. Cf. Marenin vision of democratic policing: ‘Accesibility means that the police are available for those who request their help and services, which in a democratic society should be a widely distributed resource and that the police accept such requests as legitimate … On the street, accessibility is the primary value of the police. They are there when needed or respond as quickly as they can and people feel entitled to ask for help’ (1998, p.169, 170). [return]
  21. Interview, Julius Odwe, Deputy Inspector General of Police, 3 March, 2004. [return]
  22. Interview, David Taitika, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Local Administration Police, 26 February, 2004. [return]
  23. The Monitor, 22 March, 2004. [return]
  24. Even according to reports of the Police’s own Human Rights Desk, complaints run into the hundreds each year. And the Uganda Human Rights Commission reports 541 complaints of Police torture 2000-2004. [return]
  25. Interview, ISO operative, 16 March, 2004. [return]
  26. The Monitor, 3 March, 2004. [return]
  27. Since the NRM took power there has been a fragmentation of national state bodies charged with the role of internal national security. This is in part due to the persistent internal conflict with armed ‘terrorist’, ‘rebels’, ‘bandits’ and organised crime. Co-ordinating the operations against ‘terrorist organisations’ is the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JAFT). In the same category is the Internal Security Organisation (ISO). It is part of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and under the direct authority of the President. It is primarily an intelligence-gathering body used in fighting terrorist and rebel groups. The Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) also moves outside its natural area of operation. At election times it has been known to intimidate opposition candidates and forcibly disperse ‘unauthorised’ rallies. [return]
  28. Shaw, M. (2000), ‘Conference Summary and Overview’, in Crime and Policing in Transitional Societies, Proceedings of a conference, Crime and Policing in Transitional Societies, conducted by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in conjunction with the South African Institute for International Affairs, available at, www.kas.de/proj/home, p. 11. [return]
  29. ibid, p. 11. [return]
  30. Interview, Simeo Nsubuga, Crime Prevention Officer, Police Headquarters, 25 February, 2004. [return]
  31. Interviews with Katwe District Police Commander, Mugisha Bazil; Ali Amote, Community Liaison Officer, Katwe Division; Corporal Kyagulanyr, trainer of ‘crime preventers’, Katwe Division; Jamil Sebalu, Crime Prevention Panel Chair for Katwe; Hassan Muwamugzi, Crime Prevention Panel Secretary for Katwe, 5 March, 2004. [return]
  32. Interview with Ngako Abbey Moiti, Community Liaison Officer, Kawempe Division, 11 March, 2004. [return]
  33. Focus group of seven Panel executive and members, Matugga, 11 March, 2004. [return]
  34. Interview, Rev Atwiinine, Executive Secretary of UTODA, 27 February, 2004. [return]
  35. Focus groups of 35 men and women, Matugga market, 19 March, 2004. [return]
  36. The Monitor, 19 February, 2004. [return]
  37. New Vision, 2 March, 2004. [return]
  38. Interviews, General Managers, ArmorGroup Uganda and Securicor, 25 February and 3 March, 2004. [return]
  39. Interviews with company managers of, Home Guard Services, Ultimate Security, Alert Guards and Security Systems, and Elite Security, 26 February, 18 March and 22 March, 2004. [return]
  40. Schonteich, M. (1999), Unshackling the Crime Fighters: Increasing Private Sector Involvement in South Africa’s Justice System, South Africa Institute of Race Relations, Johannesburg. [return]
  41. New Vision, 24 December, 2002. [return]
  42. Interview, Officer in Charge, Mityana, Uganda Police, 31 March, 2004. [return]
  43. Simplistic notions that only state policing can be accountable are still regularly asserted. See Neild, R. (2000), ‘Democratic Police Reforms in War-torn Societies’, Conflict, Security and Development, 1, p. 33. In contrast see Stenning, P. (2000), ‘Powers and Accountability of Private Police’, European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 8, pp. 325-52. [return]
  44. Clapham, C. (1999), ‘African security Systems: Privatisation and the Scope for Mercenary Activity’, in Greg Mills and John Stremlau, eds, The Privatisation of Security in Africa, Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs, pp. 23-45. [return]
  45. Loader, I. And Walker, N. (2001), ‘Policing as a Public Good’, Theoretical Criminology, 5, 1, p. 27. [return]
  46. Schärf, W. (2003), Non-State Justice Systems, pp. 38-9. [return]
  47. The policy is currently being pursued in South Africa under the title of Community Safety Forums. They were started by a DFID-funded NGO initiative, which went national in October 2002. Each month all justice system structures, all relevant local government structures, education representatives (Safer Schools Projects) and Community-based organisations meet and identify problems and generate solutions. This results in the Forums being able to recruit resources from all levels of government. See Schärf, W. (2000), ‘Community Justice and Community Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa. How Appropriate are the Justice Systems of Africa?’, paper delivered at the International Workshop on the Rule of Law and Development: Citizen Security, Rights and Life Choices in Law and Middle Income Countries Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex 1-3 June 2000, available at www.ids.ac.uk/ids/govern/accjust/ pdfs/scharf%20paper.pdf [return]
 

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