Lagos Govt Launches Community Policing

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: [email protected]

 

Lagos State has taken new steps towards improving security in all communities across the state, with the inauguration of the State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and its operations arm, State Community Policing Committee (SCPC).

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, inaugurated members of the two committees at a ceremony held at the State House in Alausa, pointing out that the event marked a turning point in the government’s deliberate effort to re-strategise and rethink the security architecture using Community Policing Initiative as proposed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Muhammed Abubakar Adamu.

According to the governor, the initiative is long overdue and is aimed at addressing inadequacies of the current policing model, which he says has failed to engage members of local communities and neighbourhoods in knowledge sharing and intelligence gathering that could help in nipping crimes in the bud.

SCPAC, which is co-chaired by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, and chairman of Council of Obas and Chiefs in Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, will be the custodian of the initiative and it is to maintain highest level of oversight on community policing in the State.

SPAC, on the other hand, will be responsible for managing and coordinating the state-level operations of the community policing programme, and it will, among other functions, help identify security threats in communities and work with the police and the Community Police Officers (CPOs) in evolving appropriate strategies for addressing them.

Sanwo-Olu said the community policing initiative was conceived and rolled out to achieve fundamental changes in the way the government responds to security matters and make security agencies proactive in discharging their statutory duties.

“Today is a particularly important and auspicious day for the good people of Lagos State. We are gathered here to take an important step in the implementation of a long-overdue policing reform effort – the Community Policing Initiative,” the governor said.

“In a democracy, the involvement of the people in all matters of governance, especially on issues that impact directly on their well-being is key to achieving good governance. One of the inadequacies of our current policing systems has been the inability to tap the knowledge and intelligence that exists at neighbourhood and community level.

“The work that the Police are expected to do becomes more difficult when they are expected to do it alone. No matter how well-resourced or technologically advanced a Police Force might be, there might be no progress without the trust and support of the communities in which they operate. Every citizen has a role to play in ensuring that the security architecture functions optimally.”

According to the governor, deploying technology and equipping the police with modern gadgets to fight crimes remains a novel idea that any government could introduce, but he added that such cannot be a substitute for mutual trust and cooperation between the police and members of their host communities.

He said a citizen-centric approach to tackling crime and criminality would take a lot of pressure off the police and allow them to focus energy and resources on issues that matter most.

The community policing model, Sanwo-Olu suggested, will give every community resident a strong sense of participation in governance and strengthen the social contract between the Government and citizens. He praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his unequivocal support for fundamental security reforms in Nigeria.

He said: “We are implementing this policing initiative with sole objective of creating a platform for citizens’ participation towards improving security in our communities. We want Lagos State to be a role model for the rest of the country in terms of how community policing should function. We want to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence, one that engenders speedy resolution of issues as they arise.

“Community policing, in its ideal implementation, will take a lot of pressure off the Police Force and allow them to focus their energy and resources where it matters most. It will give citizens and residents a strong sense of participation in governance, and strengthen the social contract between the Government and the governed. A citizen-centric approach to tackling crime and criminality is a big plus for democratic practice and governance.”

The Governor charged members of the committees to discharge their tasks with patriotism, integrity and diligence, saying their membership was a “rare privilege” and an opportunity to serve Lagos and the nation.

“I urge you all to be bold and innovative in the work of developing and implementing the necessary operational guidelines and procedures that will promote and sustain mutual trust, respect and confidence between the people and security agencies, and make Lagos State a no-go area for all those who seek to undermine our security,” Sanwo-Olu said.

To further take the initiative down to neighbourhoods and draw more participation from residents at the grassroots, Sanwo-Olu said the state government would be constituting additional committees, which will include: Area Command Community Policing Advisory Committee, Local Government Community Policing Advisory Committee, and Divisional Community Policing Committee.

The governor also used the occasion to re-assure all security formations in the state of his administration’s commitment to support their activities by providing equipment and resources through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) and other interventions.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Training at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Mr. David Folawiyo, who represented the IGP, said the nation had reached a point where the police must interface with community members in maintaining social order.

“It is a bottom-up approach that shifts focus on reactive law enforcement to proactive problem solving,” he said.

Other members of SCPAC include: Heads of security agencies in the State, representative of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Apostle Kehinde Sowemimo, representative of the Lagos Muslim Community, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla, representative of the Lagos chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, representatives of three senatorial districts in Lagos.

Membership of SPAC include: representative of the Commissioner of Police, DCP Etim Oqua Efiom; representative of traditional institution, Oba Momodu Ashafa; Muslim community, Bashorun Sikiru Alabi; CAN representative, Bishop Stephen Adegbite; PCRC representative, Prince Yemi Adenowo; representative of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Mrs. Blessing Abiri; representative of the Lagos chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr. Lookman Aminu; representative of people living with disabilities, Hon. Israel Akiode, representative of the Nigeria Bar Association, Prince Dele Oloke, and representative of the Lagos chapter of National Council of Women Societies, Alhaja Sikirat Agoro.

Taraba CP Tasks Residents On Effective Community Policing

Map of Taraba
Taraba is a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

 

The Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Mohammed Azare, has urged residents of the state to strengthen the concept of community policing in their respective areas through effective collaborations and partnerships.

According to a press statement by the Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr David Misal, he made the call at a closed-door meeting with House of Representatives members and government officials.

Others present included community leaders, vigilante groups, local hunters, and leadership of Fulani herdsmen from the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.

Azare explained that this was aimed at bringing under constant checks and ensure that all perpetrators of crimes, particularly kidnapping were reduced to the minimum.

He stressed that all hands must be on deck to check the menace of kidnapping and other violent crimes, noting that the work of security should not be left in the hands of security agencies alone.

The police commissioner assured Taraba residents of the command’s commitment to ensuring sustainable security and advised them to share information with the police for effective community policing.

At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders all pleaded to assist the police in all ramifications towards sustainable security, as well as support them in terms of logistics.

Introduction Of Community Policing Is A Fraud, Says Ekweremadu

 

The lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Ike Ekweremadu, says community policing is a “fraud”.

Ekweremadu who was former Deputy Senate President, made this declaration when he featured on a Channels Television’s Hard Copy on Friday.

Reacting to various drives towards community policing, Ekweremadu said the strategy will not work in a federating unit with “so many diversities” like Nigeria.

As far as Ekweremadu is concerned, Nigerians are living in denial, and the security situation is “so bad and the bad news is that it is going to get worse because we are not dealing with it at all”.

He said, “Nigeria lives as a federal state. We accepted before independence that what is suitable for our circumstance is federalism. Since we accepted federalism, we need to look at others practicing federalism”.

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“In those other places, the way they deal with security is to decentralize it. The idea of forming a federal system of government is that you have accepted that you have so many diversities.

“To respect those diversities, you have to come into a loose arrangement to do things in a way that is peculiar to the people.

“Community policing is a fraud, it is a total distraction. What they are telling us is that there is a problem between the community and the police itself and they need to address that lack of trust and confidence. That’s what community policing is all about.

“If you have a federal system, you have a complete architecture that can deal with situations in a complex manner.”

He said contrary to what most Nigerians think the police is planning through community policing, the police IG told the senate, “they are going to get volunteers who will be giving police information, find out what their challenges are, why do they not trust the police, to build their confidence”.

“Unfortunately, the federal police we have now is not working. That’s why they (south-west) came together to say let us have a security outfit to deal with our problems,” Ekweremadu said.

“Amotekun is different from what the federal government is saying about community policing. They have personnel who are going to deal with issues unlike what the federal government is proposing.”

Recently, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, again his weight behind the concept of community policing.

The IGP who believes that community policing will aid in tackling crime at the grassroots said in 2019 that President Muhammadu Buhari has also approved the concept.

At the Forum of Northern Traditional Rulers in Kaduna, IGP Adamu was of the opinion that it is a citizen-centred and community policing approach that will lead to more sustainable successes in the management of internal safety and security threats.

State Policing: Senate Summons Inspector General Of Police

 

The Senate has summoned Mr Mohammed Adamu the Inspector-General of Police. 

This was part of resolutions reached during plenary on Wednesday, January 29.

IGP Adamu is being summoned over some security issues that have come in recent times, as well as the call for the institution of state police.

During the session, the Upper House deliberated extensively on Nigeria’s security challenges with some lawmakers considering a restructuring of the current security architecture.

READ ALSO: Senate Asks Buhari To Declare Emergency On National Security

Addressing the House during plenary, Senator Omo-Agege said there is a consensus that the nation should be looking into the direction of community policing but there remains the uncertainty of what the structure and component will be like.

The Deputy Senate President was of the opinion that the security architecture is overstretched and not as effective as it is.

Lending her voice to the deliberations, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said if Nigeria really wants to tackle its insecurity correctly, then the nation should look at state police.

She was of the opinion that states which are ready to venture into State Policing should be given the go-ahead.

After hours of deliberation on the matter, the House resolved to “urge Mr. President C-in-C to declare a national security emergency and set up an ad-hoc committee to engage the security agencies and report to the Senate, as well as engage the national security institution to discuss their operational structures, funding, equipment, and staff in position with a view to reviewing the national security architecture to make it more responsive in tackling the myriad security challenges facing the nations and the people,”.

Other resolutions include to have the committee produce a draft implementation modality/ blueprint on the ways and means of tackling the current security challenges for the consideration of the Senate and to invite the Inspector General of Police to appear before the plenary and brief the Senate on the concept and the practical implementation of state policing and policies on Wednesday 5th February 2020.

Community Policing: Operations Must Be Within The Law – APC Governors

Simon Lalong during the

 

As part of efforts to secure the nation, the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governors Forum on Friday said they are committed to community policing as long as the operation is within the ambit of the law.

The co-chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said the forum is not opposed to the South West Security Network known as Amotekun.

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Transfer Of Sentenced Persons Between Nigeria, Macao

He, however, insisted that all community policing efforts must be executed within the ambit of the Nigerian constitution.

“We don’t want a situation when you will start doing something and the Federal Government will say it is outside the law. Just like in the case of Amotekun.

“We are all agreed on the issue of community policing,” he said.

Lalong also urged Nigerians to unite in the fight against terrorism in order to fight insurgents who are trying to cause serious disaffection between Christian and Muslim faithful.

FG Willing To Fund Community Policing, Says Chief Of Air Staff

President Muhammadu Buhari attends a meeting with the service chiefs and others at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 17, 2020.

 

 

The Federal Government has declared its support for community policing and its willingness to fund it.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on Friday in Abuja.

Abubakar spoke to the reporters at the Presidential Villa shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs ahead of his trip to the United Kingdom.

He revealed that the National Security Council meeting reviewed the activities of the security agencies in the country.

The air force boss noted that after a critical evaluation of the various operations, the meeting was satisfied with the progress being made.

He highlighted some of the issues the meeting focused on, including banditry in some parts of the country.

Abubakar disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force has taken possession of two fighter helicopters, as part of the equipment the military and police were expecting.

He gave also gave an assurance that most of the other equipment still expected would be received by the end of February.

President Muhammadu Buhari attends a meeting with the service chiefs and others at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 17, 2020.

 

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), led the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, and other services chiefs to the meeting.

Also present were the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.

Others included the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi.

The meeting was also attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha.

Police To Implement Community Policing Strategy In 2020

 

The full implementation of the community policing strategy will see the light of day in 2020.

This is according to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, who made this known at the end of the year conference with Strategic Police Managers in Abuja on Monday.

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He added that asides the community policing, the police will ensure overall efficiency in capacity building, boost special operations and enhance operational base.

“It is in this regard that we outlined a Strategic Policing Plan which is predicated on the full adoption and integration of citizens-oriented, intelligence-led, and technology-driven policing practices.

“Improve the overall efficiency of the Force through capacity building in policing technology, intelligence, investigation, prosecution as well as crime prevention and control through a more robust visible policing architecture.

“Full implementation of the community policing strategy and the strengthening of other strategies with a view to aligning them to projected crimes and thereby, remaining ahead of criminal elements and sustaining the current gains we have recorded in our internal security management functions.

He also added the “boosting of special operations capacity.

“Enhancement of our logistics and operational base through a well-thought-out re-equipment plan that will lead to the acquisition of more operational assets to support our special operations, bridge operational gaps and strengthen the safer highway and safer city initiatives across the country.

“Training and Human capacity development, the improvement of the welfare of officers and enhancement of post-retirement conditions through the push for an improved Police Pension entitlement,” he concluded.

The IGP urged the police managers to continue to resist the urge to project narratives that tend to suit the interests of criminal elements, and report the progress being made in the anti-crime operations in a manner that will restore confidence in the citizens.”

IGP Restates Commitment Towards Community Policing

Police To Establish National Crime Analysis Centre, Warn Personnel Against Misconduct
A file photo of IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has reiterated his determination to make community policing functional in the country.

Mr. Adamu stated this during a meeting with the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dangyadi, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Police Affairs Ministry, Director of Procurement and several other directors.

The IGP admitted during his welcome remarks that the dynamism of crime has put so much pressure on the Nigeria police force in recent times.

“Aside from the threat of terrorism, we are currently grappling with a series of high-profile crimes that constitute major threats to our national security. These include banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery, cybercrime, small and light arms proliferation and sundry transnational crimes. The dynamics of crime in the country has over time become increasingly complex due largely to the impact of technology, global terrorism, socio-economic variables and other security situations within the African continent.

All these have combined to put pressure on the limited logistics, manpower and other operational assets of the Nigeria Police. Within this context and in order to effectively tackle the identified challenges, my vision is to evolve a Police Force that is rule of law guided, pro-active operationally, and one that will engage cutting-edge technology in all components of policing functions. In furtherance to this, upon my assumption of office, I undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the dynamics of crimes in the country viz-a-viz our human and logistical capacity, and concluded that the most potent strategy towards attaining our mandate given our current national realities, is one that is driven by the concept of community policing and guided by the virtues of returning policing to the citizens.”

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He added that the move will help to bridge some of the current gaps in effectively securing the nation.

“It is in cognizance of this fundamental reality that we resolved to adopt the Community Policing Model which involves the engagement of citizens in identifying and prioritizing prevalent communal security threats as they affect their localities and working together with the citizens towards developing and implementing solutions to the identified threats. In giving effect to this, our plan is to draw on the provisions of the Police Act in relation to the utilization of Special Constables who in this instance, will be engaged as Community Policing Officers (CPOs) under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing system.

“The plan is that the Community Policing Officers shall be deployed to complement the local Police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Dangadi asked the IGP to invent new strategies to address kidnapping, banditry and other forms of criminality across the country.

The minister added that Nigeria needs the service of the police force more than ever before, as the current spate of criminality is not only alarming but also shameful.

IGP Meets Northern Traditional Leaders, Unveils Plan To Implement Community Policing

IGP Meets Northern Traditional Leaders, Unveils Plan To Implement Community Policing
A file photo of acting IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

 

The acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has revealed plans by the force to implement community policing.

He made the disclosure at a meeting of the Forum of Northern Traditional Rulers on Tuesday in Kaduna State where critical security issues were discussed.

He noted that the police have achieved major successes in addressing security and safety threats in recent times, especially since the launch of Operation Puff Adder.

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The police boss believes a citizen-centred and community policing approach will lead to more sustainable successes in the management of internal safety and security threat.

He explained that the Community Policing Model envisaged for the country would involve the establishment and utilisation of the Special Constables, as provided for in Section 50 (1) of the Police Act Cap P19 LFN 2004.

The IGP added that the Special Constables Model, mirrored after the Police Community Support Officers standard in the United Kingdom Policing Architecture, would be tailored to align with the existing traditional security structure in the northern part of the country.

The special constables, according to him, will be drawn from members of the community to serve as voluntary community police officers under the coordination of the police authorities.

Mr Adamu revealed that the new drive was in line with the “expressed desire and directives” of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also called for the adoption of a potent crime management strategy to tackle banditry and other forms of crimes in the country.

According to the police boss, such a plan will be modelled on the concept of community policing in which policing functions are citizen-centred and community driven.

He highlighted the roles of traditional rulers as strategic actors within the community policing architecture.

The IGP also said the traditional institutional structure presents a unique framework which if properly engaged, can enhance the attainment of community policing practices and address communal threats in the most cost-effective and inclusive manner.

The meeting had in attendance the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

Also present were the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan Ali (rtd), the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as other top northern traditional rulers government officials.

The police boss later met with Governor El-Rufai at the Government House, where he announced the establishment of a new Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) Base in Kaduna State.

He explained that this was aimed at providing additional manpower and firepower in the strengthened fight against criminal elements especially, along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.

In his response, the governor commended the police boss on the achievements of Operation Puff Adder.

He also promised to support the police in the establishment of the CTU Base and assist them in the acquisition of the needed modern crime-fighting technology to tackle crimes in the state.

IGP Launches Community Policing Guidelines

In a bid to stem the tide of criminal activities in the country, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has launched the community policing re-engagement strategic guidelines.

Mr Idris at the public launch in Abuja, appealed to Nigerians and sister security agencies to cooperate with the Nigeria Police Force in reducing crime to the barest minimum.

He expressed optimism that a proactive approach to policing and the active engagement of local communities will assist to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the country.

“The country is currently grappling with some security challenges evidenced in the escalation of violent conflicts and crimes. From herdsmen-farmers clashes, insurgency in North-East, resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta and kidnapping for ransom, it is obvious that there is a need for a strategic policing approach,” the IGP said.

“So far, we have been successful to some extent in reducing these threats, but with the re-launch of this all-encompassing community policing strategy, we shall develop a better interactive relationship that will lead to improved support and cooperation from our various stakeholders.”

As part of the strategy, the IGP inaugurated a seven-man community policing management committee made up of professionals to work with the management team of the Nigeria police to oversee the initiative.

The committee is comprised of the CP Community Policing representing the IGP, Professor Olu Ogunsakin, Mrs Kemi Okenyodo, Lt. Col. U.F Abubakar, Representative of Ministry of Justice, Mrs Ovibiagele A. Efelomon, Mr Adeniran Akingbolahan.

Community policing was initially introduced in Nigeria on April 27, 2004, with the President at the time, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, launching the pilot phase in Enugu.

The pilot phase of the programme was aimed at establishing a clear departure from traditional policing, that was reactive and incident-based, to a problem-solving oriented policing that is proactive with the community as the cornerstone of policing objectives.

“It is on this premise that the Nigeria Police Force has made the decision to review and develop more inclusive strategic guidelines taking into consideration lessons learned from its pilot phase,” the IGP said.

FG To Unveil New Policy On Community Policing – Osinbajo

File Photo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government will soon unveil a new policy on community policing to check various forms of criminality in Nigeria.

The disclosure comes as the government’s war on crime and corruption struggles with various forms of institutional resistance.

The Acting President revealed this through the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Babafemi Ojudu, who represented him at the launch of a book on crime prevention and detection written by former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase.

Transmuting 35 years of policing experience into an intellectual property, Arase noted that knowledge, more than sheer force, must define Nigeria policing to prevent crimes.

Speakers at the event including current and former security officials also called for implementable reforms in the Nigeria Police Force for enhanced law enforcement.

The event was attended by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke and the Chairman of Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro among other dignitaries.

Lagos State Govt. Recruits 5,700 Youths Into Safety Corps

safety-corpsThe Lagos state government has recruited about 5,700 youths under its Neighborhood Safety Corps initiative.

The development is coming as part of the government’s resolve to enhance community policing.

Speaking at the official launch of the Corps, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said the move is another step towards enhancing security at the grassroots level in the state.

He stated that the Corps is expected to assist the police by providing useful intelligence information to them for crime prevention and to facilitate the arrest of perpetrators of crime.

The security outfit is infused with more young men and women trained and equipped with requisite knowledge and skills to complement the work of the police.

According to the governor, members of the Corps have been trained in areas such as: “mediating disputes and the art of negotiating for peaceful resolution, balancing communal interests in resolving disputes and proactive policing engagement instead of reactive policing”.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Corps also marks the commencement of the state whistle blowing scheme and the governor stated that “any valuable information given to the Corps, will attract handsome rewards from the state government”

“I therefore call on all Lagosians to join hands with us, to say a final ‘no’ to crime in our state,” Mr Ambode added.