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Security Sector Reforms

Security Sector Reforms constitute a major challenge in most developing societies that are undergoing different simultaneous transitions within the context of democratization process. In these situations, the understanding and management of the security sector often reveal severe shortcomings as regards governance and good practice.

The rationale for a programme focusing on security sector issues is sound and widely appreciated. Recognition is growing that unprofessional or poorly regulated security forces often compound rather than mitigate security problems. Because Security Sector problems tend to be a symptom of broader social, political and economic challenges facing poorer societies, there is strong argument for adopting a more holistic approach to develop that incorporates Security Sector concerns.

Security Sector Reform has a clear normative and practical commitment to a development agenda that links Security Sector Reform to poverty alleviation. It is exemplified by its commitment to contextualize Security Sector Reform within the ambit of the consolidation of democracy, the promotion of human right, good governance and the ambit of the consolidation of democracy, the promotion of human rights, good governance and the creation of a culture of accountability and transparency in the management of Security Sector processes. The preparedness of Security Sector Reform strategies to countenance a much higher degree of local ownership of the process than has hitherto been the case is clear.

The subject of Police Reform, within the larger Security Sector Reform, is vast and covers many issues and concerns that go beyond strengthening and improving the administrative and structural aspects of an organization. It includes changing the culture and the ethos of policing. The environment of policing in this new century is clearly a rapidly changing one that is radically transforming the nature of polie work and police organizations. The need to reform on the side of the police can be attributed partly to the accusations by human rights organizations towards the police as regards limited capacity in professional policing skills which results in arbitrary arrests, poor handling of crime cases, ill treatment and torture suspects and may also be driven by emerging new governing systems such as democratization process.

Activities under the programme will entail the participation in proposed Security Sector Reforms by the regional governments. This has already begun in Kenya, where SRIC was part of the team that drew up both the Reforms Framework and Strategic Plan for the Kenya Police.

The development of national Crime management strategies for the regional governments will be part of this programme. SRIC will continue to participate in and be part of the development of such strategies.

Community policing is regarded as one of the more effective ways to have communities participate in the management programme of their own security or democratic security provision. SRIC has been participating in and offering capacity building to relevant government security agencies in this area and under this programme this will continue.

SRIC is working closely with the Kenya Government alongside other stake holders on the rollout plan and implementation of community policing programme. This entails policy formulation and relevant training for civil society and government officials. SRIC has also participated in capacity building for communities in the area of community policing. This is expected to be initiated in other regional countries.




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