Community Policing in Uganda

Establishing citizens’ trust in state security institutions, especially the police, is essential to reducing crime and insecurity. Community-oriented policing (COP) is a popular approach to achieving this goal. Rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of COPs have thus far been limited to rich countries, but may not travel to a developing country setting.

Together with Rob Blair and Anna Wilke, and in collaboration with the Ugandan Police Force, our COP project (launched in 2018) is designed to improve understanding of whether and how COP can improve citizen-police relations and reduce crime in contexts of high poverty and low state capacity. In particular, we are interested in whether police-related components of community policing (such as town hall meetings and foot patrols) have to be supplemented by community-oriented components (such as the creation of neighborhood watch teams).