Chapter 19: Policing at the local level
Policing in the developing world means different things to different people. To the authoritarian state under pressure it might mean ensuring that the political opposition is kept in its place and that restless crowds are swept from the street. For a post-conflict context it might mean preventing the looting and armed robberies and dismantling the militias. To the fear-laden developed country it might mean countering terrorism and human trafficking gangs at their roots in weak states. For the wealthy and powerful it might mean ensuring their own immunity and punishing those who dare to challenge them. To the police of the developing world it might mean doing whatever they choose to do and however they choose to do it. But to the majority in the majority world policing means ensuring in their locality justice and the maintenance of order as they understand it. Who provides that service is not so crucial to them as that, whoever it is, they are fair, effective and quick in resolving the problem that confronts them; or that they are the fairest, most effective and quickest that are available. The vast majority of policing takes place at this local level, dealing with the knocks and bruises of living in an unequal, selfish and unfair world. If the quality of this level of policing was to be improved it would have an enormous impact on the lives of hundreds of millions.
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