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Police forces are an important element of the enforcement chain. They maintain public security and safety and also have investigative functions.

Policing - Balancing the Needs of the State and Individuals

There has been a long running debate over different models and styles of policing in developing countries. Should the police be a force or a service? Is the objective control or care? In the former, major policing responsibilities are seen in terms of crime control and the maintenance of order, in the latter, emphasis is placed on the service functions the police may provide in terms of protection against crime, support for the victims of crime and safeguarding rights. Achieving a balance between these two aspects of policing is still proving difficult. In addition, how are reform programmes able to integrate police and legal/judicial objectives? Is there best practice in this area? This background paper by Piet Biesheuvel and Innocent Chukwuma to a justice sector conference held in 2006 in Kenya summarizes some of the key issues.


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