Security Needs of Citizens and Community Policing in Serbia – is There a Link?
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The local community represents a context in which a real quality of social life can be researched. One of the life quality indicators is a degree of satisfying security needs of citizens. Among the resources which the local community engages to solve these needs, the police occupy the key position. Within the model of police engagement in the local community, the concept of community policing has great significance as a qualitatively new system of the police organization and functioning based on the correlation between the citizens’ expectations and what the police really do. By interviewing 750 respondents in five communities in Serbia, in which this policing strategy is being realized, their security needs are being determined. The research results indicate that the citizens of the researched communities are concerned about the extent and intensity of the different forms of violence and all forms of social behavior which jeopardize the security of their families. They recognize the p...olice as a local community resource in charge of solving their security needs and they point out the necessity of undertaking preventive activities. The following factors are noticed as the limitation factors: lack of interdepartmental cooperation within the police services and insufficient local community involvement in problem solving.