IPA Peru Member Javier G. Kinosita holds keynote speech on the Globalisation of Community Policing in the World

20 May 2020

On Tuesday 25 February 2020, the Vice-Ministry of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior in Peru and the International Police Association - Peru Section organised the academic colloquium "The new public management for an idoneous production of security in the 21st century", by Javier Gamero Kinosita, member of IPA Peru, an officer of the Peruvian National Police, a Peruvian jurist and criminologist residing in Switzerland, who gave a vision of post-modern criminology with respect to the reform and modernisation of the police in contemporary society.IMG 6610

The event was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Public Security, General of the National Police of Peru, Rubén Rucoba Tello, and  the General of the National Police of Peru, Sergio Monar Moyoli, President of the IPA Peru Section. The event was attended by the Directors General of the Ministry of the Interior, members of the Peruvian National Police, Police attachés of foreign countries accredited in Peru and members of IPA Peru.

Gamero referred to the model of community policing or citizen's proximity policing, stressing that this model has been in vogue in Anglo-American policing for the last two decades, prompting public debate both in political spheres and in the media. The speaker explained that this model distances itself from the traditional model of military police with a central bureaucracy that complies strictly with current legislation and is blind to the designs of the executive with little or no discretion.

This new model of community policing, added Gamero Kinosita, is governed by strategies, tactics and results agreed with the community, and in recent years has become a key component of Western exports to developing countries in order to build a new police structure in these transitional societies.

The export criteria that prevailed from the 1970’s onwards were that the police institution was conceived as the key to stability, in a period of rapid social change, where police reform would be the axis of the effort to dismantle authoritarian structures, and the police would become an important instrument in the democratisation process. The establishment of a democratic police force would guarantee the security and stability necessary for the consolidation of democracy and optimal economic development.

Essential elements of community policing

Gamero mentioned some essential elements of community policing today, including that community policing is based on the premise of the community as a partner, constituting a personalised police service, which allows for the gathering of vital information through face-to-face contact, minimising police overreaction, and allowing police officers to address potentially violent people, improving the sensitivity of police action to community needs.

He also said that community policing symbolises social commitment and allows police officers to develop informal social controls by contributing to the quality of the physical environment by responding to signs or indications of crime, such as abandoned vehicles, dilapidated buildings in neglect, graffiti-painted walls, broken streetlights, and litter in open places. Gamero added that the community police help strengthen the sense of responsibility and democratic accountability by strengthening local governance and enabling the police officer to monitor racial and ethnic tensions in local conflicts between local groups.


The universality of community policing

The speaker added that community policing is a flexible instrument that can be used to advantage in most communities at different latitudes, regardless of social class or other social divisions. Community-oriented policing is conceived as a panacea for community life regardless of context and history. In this context Gamero referred to models of community policing in the Pacific Rim by analysing the police systems of Japan and China, in the European Union by analysing the three police systems in the region, the Napoleonic police system, the national police system and the decentralised police system, community policing in post-colonial Africa, with an in-depth analysis of the case of South Africa, and finally community policing in Latin America, focusing mainly on Central America with the democratic security doctrine that governed the region, leaving aside the national security doctrine that governed the Cold War era.


Final Reflection

Finally, Gamero pointed out that the police are now an essential institution for governance in the modern rule of law worldwide. The police are indisputably a key instrument in the process of strengthening democracy, the unrestricted validity of human rights and social peace. It owes its existence entirely to its society and must be tailored to the exact needs of its citizens. To this end, it is necessary to understand that the development of a genuine democratic community police force must be seen not as a finished product but rather as a living and permanent process in which we are all involved.

Javier Gamero Kinosita, Member IPA Peru