Community-Based Policing to Prevent and Combat Crime: Specific Perspectives and Strategic Solutions in Vietnam

Community-Based Policing to Prevent and Combat Crime: Specific Perspectives and Strategic Solutions in Vietnam

Hai Thanh Luong (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1286-9.ch027
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As one of the most populous countries in the Asia area, Vietnam has been continuing to develop and integrate into the region since ‘Renovation Period' in 1986. Alongside several considerable achievements in the field of socio-economic, political, social, and sustainable development, Vietnam is also facing practical challenges in the society, particularly crime. This chapter reviews the overall picture of crime with its related trends and patterns, which will be based on the outcomes of National Program for Prevention and Control Crime of Vietnam, 1998 until 2010. Additionally, the author introduces and analyses the community-based policing's approach, one of the most critical projects in the system of 15 operations of the National Strategy of Preventing and Combating Crime in the period of 2016-2025 and orientations toward 2030, which provide Vietnam's responses with its viewpoints, targets, tasks, and solutions to deal with crime.
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Since the end of the 1990s the financial crisis has impacted, directly or indirectly, on almost countries in the Southeast Asia and made the situation of region has been complicated in many areas, no except for Vietnam. Additionally, the revolution of science and technology and the process of globalization took place strongly, deeply and comprehensively, to all aspects of social life. The consequences of the financial crisis, the global economic recession, food security issues, natural disasters and epidemics are becoming common concerns and worries of nations (Sidel, 1998; Thayer, 2003). Local warfare, arms race, ethnic and religious conflicts, interference, subversion, terrorism, territorial disputes, sea and island disputes are complex. Southeast Asia has become a focal point to attract attention and increase the influence of major countries, and there have been instabilities in relations between some regional countries and within some countries (Boothroyd & Nam, 2000; Nathan, 1999).

Implementing the policy of innovation and international integration in the end of twentieth century, Vietnam has achieved great achievements, comprehensive and historical significance. The economy continued to be stable and developed, the average annual GDP growth reached 7.2% (Boothroyd & Nam, 2000; Woods, 2002). The material, cultural and spiritual life of the people has been improved and developed as well as the great solidarity of the people is constantly strengthened; meanwhile, the national defense and security is maintained, social security order is ensured. Additionally, foreign relations and international cooperation have been expanded and Vietnam officially became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007 and was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term of 2008-2009 (Arkadie & Raymond, 2003; Gillespie, 2005; Thayer, 2004). Vietnam's position in the international arena constantly strengthened and enhanced.

However, the reverse of the process of international integration, socio-economic development has generated many new complex issues affecting the prevention and combat of crime. Other social issues such as free migration, urbanization, land management, urban order, environmental pollution, natural disasters and epidemics are complicated; especially the impact of the reverse of the market economy leading to the differentiation between rich and poor, social stratification, the lack of employment has greatly affected the life and spirit of the people of all strata (Thayer, 2005; Vuving, 2001). The flip side of the Internet, movies, culture, Western lifestyles are negatively impacting the lifestyle and personality of a part of society, especially young people (Hibbard & Tang, 2004; Thayer, 2004). The preparation of a number of branches and localities in the process of international integration is not good in many aspects, leading to loopholes and shortcomings for criminals to take advantage of activities.

To ensure national security and social order, on 31 July 1998, the Government issued Resolution No.09/NQ-CP on “Strengthening Prevention and Combat Crime in the New Situation” and the Prime Minister issued Decision No.138/QD-TTg to approve “National Program for Crime Prevention and Control” (hereafter, Program 138). It is the most pillar and important strategy of Vietnam to prevent, control, and combat crime in the nationwide scope. After 20 years, the Program 138 has been recorded as one the most impacted activities to contribute maintain national security and social order in Vietnam. At the online conference of the Program 138, January 2019, Standing Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam and also Chairman of the Program 138, confirmed that analyzing and assessing lessons and experiences of two decades implemented this Program were considered as one of the eight prioritized duties in the 2019.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Community-Based Policing: Is a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the communities in order to enhance the effectiveness of policing.

Information-Related Crimes: Is any information in terms to criminals and its related behaviors to be founded and explored by people and they inform, either directly or indirectly, to police.

Renovation Period, Known as Doi Moi (Vietnamese): Is the name given to the economic reforms initiated in Vietnam in 1986 with the goal of creating a “socialist-oriented market” and the term Doi Moi itself is a general term with wide use in the Vietnamese language.

Communist Party Leading: Is basic provision, integrated viewpoint and compulsory requirement to prevent and combat crime in the communist state such as Vietnam.

Ministry of Public Security (MPS): Is a standing office on drugs and crime of the Program 138 and Minister of MPS is also standing vice chairman of this Program in Vietnam.

Matrix-Battle Community: Is the model to refer combination between the mass organizations, local communities and law enforcement offices to prevent and combat crime in Vietnam.

Program 138: Is known as the National Program on Prevention and Combating Crime in Vietnam and is also considered as the most important programs in this field.

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