The Assistant Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Gbolahan L.M. Olugbemi has charged residents of every community to work hand-in-hand with the police force in order to combat the rate of crimes to the barest minimum.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ interactive session organised by the Commissioner of police in Lekki Peninsula, Olugbemi said community policing laced with collaboration and cooperation with the police will solve the security challenges in the state and its environs.
Olugbemi reiterated that “The Police cannot do it alone; we want the community to assist us in doing our job because there is this tendency for crime to grow too. Notwithstanding, we have fought violent crime such as armed robberies, kidnapping, communal clashes, burglary and stealing, land grabbing etc to a standstill”
Innocent Chukwuma, the Director for West Africa Ford Foundation, in his presentation tagged: “A Panacea to crime prevention and Social economic development and Community Policing” described the move as a vital strategy to fight crimes of cultism, youthful exuberance, kidnapping and other acts of criminality.
Chukwuma continued that many people had often complained of lack of funding by the government and advocated for adequate funding of police operations, which includes welfare and equipping the force. “The police must also tell the public their challenges,” he said.
Chukwuma said that the interaction was aimed at raising public awareness on the rights of citizens and the bail process at police formations considering the powers and the duties of the police under the law.
The convener of the event, CP Zubairu Muazu said effective community policing could be achieved through the partnership of residents in the communities and advised communities to key into community policing in the area.
Expressing further on the concept presently being advocated across the country, the CP said that community policing is the only way out.
“Let the people take ownership of security issues around them. Let people partner with the security agencies to ensure that they have a very safe and secure environment, so that they will not only have their eyes closed but will also go about their business unmolested by criminals.”
“We have always said bail is free and we mean it. I keep saying that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper. The only difference is that everyone knows where you kept the suspects.
“The country is hard and we need the people more than they need us. Let us stay far from corruption,” he said
Muazu highlighted principles of core values, characteristic of community policies as critical to the strategy.
He also stressed security agencies collaboration, saying “Every agency of government has specific role to play under community policing according to their mandates as contained in the laws establishing the agencies.
“So also security agencies under community policing will not only be seen to be working together but must work together.”
-Story by Dedeigbo Ayodeji