Cleen Foundation, an NGO, says adequate police patrol vehicles, constant power supply, amongst others, will aid the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the discharge of its duties, especially in community policing.
Mrs Ruth Olofin, the Acting Executive Director of the foundation stated this on Friday, in Abuja, at a Town Hall meeting involving the FCT Police Command, Market, Religious and Traditional leaders.
The meeting themed: “The police need the community, the community needs the police” was organised by Cleen foundation, in collaboration with the Ford foundation.
Olofin called for adequate resources for the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), to enable it discharge its duties diligently in the vital area of community policing.
According to her, it was very necessary to equip the police with the right resources for community policing, because community policing was very critical to tackling insecurity.
“Community policing is about being civil to the people in the community and changing strategies to policing the community.
“It is crucial for the police to change their focus on how to police the people, because the approach the people have had so far on community policing was not encouraging.
“This is why the police needs resources such as police vehicles, power generating plants with constant diesel or fuel to make the police station accessible even at night and to aid easy patrols,” she said.
She urged the police to also set a standard policing model where the people and the community are at the centre of its policing priorities.
Olofin said that where a friendly, but standard policing approach was in practice, the police will easily recognise when the people or the community was in distress.
She further urged the police to design strategies on how to gain the trust of the people, adding that the police should proactively reach out to the people, especially those in the markets, social and religious centres.
CSP El-Mustapha Sani, who represented the Public Complaints Bureau (PCB), advised the various leaders at the meeting to report cases of poor service delivery by the police.
According to him, the schedule of the public complaint bureau was to ensure that the police officers do their work diligently.
“The bureau works and monitors the activities of police officers and give the public the opportunity to report any police officer that defaulted in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“We have a checks and balances system whereby all actions and inactions of a police officer is being checked and reported to the office and the PCB cuts across the 36 states including the FCT,” he said.
Mr Otunba Bolagi, the Chairman, Police Commission Relations Committee (PCRC) FCT, said that the police was seeking to partner the community in order for the community to get the best of its services and enjoy maximum security.
He added that the PCRC was seeking to partner with the community, because without the community there was no police and without the police there would be no community.
“So, the synergy between both organs is very crucial and any partnership at this point is inevitable to tackle security issues at the community level,” he said.
CSP Bello Abdullahi, the DPO of Kubwa Police Division, lauded the PCRC for the initiative to partner with the community for better performance.
Abdullahi noted that the police was under financial constraints to effectively police the division, but that it would continue to do all within its capacity to ensure that the best policing service was provided with the support of the community.
“While we are doing all to enhance our performance, we call for the support of the community; we need your resources, your useful and timely security information, in order to meet your policing expectations,” he said.
He applauded the significant attendance of the traditional leaders, representatives of various Churches and Mosques, heads of leisure and social centres, marketers and the youths of the community.
CSP Salihu Adamu Nababa, DPO of Mpape Police Division, also urged the people to support the police by reporting and turning in suspects of crimes at the police station.
He cautioned against the use of “jungle Justice system” to solve community criminal cases or to administer justice.
Mr Gilbert Yanjagi, an International Accessor on Security Watch Africa, said that the youths, especially those at the grassroots level, had a critical role to play at the community policing level.
Yangaji appealed to musicians, comedians and other youth role models to refrain from projecting hate on the police, through their songs and other social acts.
“Part of the way to ensure that the youth buy into a friendly police system is to get the key players in the entertainment industry to join forces with the police in community policing.
“These key players would influence the youths greatly because the youths look up to them, they imitate them, they follow their instructions and are willing to do whatever these key players in the social and entertainment industry incorporate,” he said.
Princess Nana Ngozi, Women Leader, the Police Commission Relations Committee (PCRC) FCT, appealed to parents and guardians to enforce good morals at the home level.
According to her, most of the crimes, criminals and criminal cases have been largely attributed to poor moral background, and failures on the part of parents and guardians who ought to be the first custodians of good morals of their children.
Mr Bash Olasupo, a security and peace building expert, also called for the closure of the gap that exists between the police and the youths in the community.
Olasupo said that the youths should no longer be excluded from policy making, especially in security matters, which largely involves them and their various youthful activities and places of leisure.
“We cannot continue to downplay the roles of the youths, it is time to give them space to exhibit their prowess, especially in community growth and development, which would reduce crime and criminal activities,” she said.
Dantani Dan’Soho, who represented the Sarki of Bwari, called for public sensitisation on the community policing idea and the roles expected of the community towards effective policing.
He said that the knowledge gathered at the meeting would be taken back to the Sarki of Bwari and his chiefs, for further discussions and to step down the knowledge to their followers.
Members of the various communities, who attended the meeting, lauded the initiative of the NGOs and the FCT police command to dialogue with the people in order to improve community policing.
They, however, appealed to the police to treat all information provided by the community regarding threats, distress calls, and security alarms with the strictest confidentiality and urgency. (NAN)