Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A civil rights organization, ActionAid has called for the reorientation of the Nigeria Police for improved community policing and strategic approach to peace building.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of a two-day training of Police Officers on Community Policing organized in partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Kogi state command.
The rights group noted that the strategic document on community policing lacks explicit legislative and legal framework to underpin its operationalization by virtue of the provisions of section 214 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
It also noted a continuing and widespread lack of awareness and enlightenment on the strategic approach and organizational philosophy of Community policing among the rank and file as well as officer ranks of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
“There is a continuing and widespread lack of awareness and enlightenment on the strategic approach and organizational philosophy of Community policing among citizens, communities, and the public at large.
“Members of the community policing committees being from different backgrounds, may have different levels of understanding and status, which may impair the cohesion of the committees and impede their ability to act decisively and effectively.” Part of the communique reads.
It however recommended for an urgent need for explicit legal framework on community policing in Nigeria therefore the need for an amendment of section 214 of the 1999 constitution as amended, as well as the Nigeria Police Act to include provisions on express description of the goal of the police and policing as that of strategic orientation on community policing as the basis of policing among others.
“There is the need for continuous and sustained community sensitization through stakeholder’s engagement, education and capacity building anchored on a structured mechanism for implementation.
“There is the need to urgently finalize the development and publicize clear terms of reference for the various community policing committees being inaugurated across states based on directives of the inspector general of police on implementation of the community policing strategic direction of the Nigeria Police.
“There is a need for a mechanism to be established for the proper undertaking of proper scrutiny and vetting of the character and personality of the members selected for inclusion in the community policing committees so as not to pick people with questionable characters into such noble committee.
“All state police commands should as a matter of urgency establish a mechanism for carrying out capacity building, sensitization and mentoring of community policing committee members being set up across states and wards.” It further stated.
The training which has 27 Police officers in attendance was aimed at strengthening police community policing architecture in the State in line with the objectives of the “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Phase II Project.