Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has unveiled a new Operational Guideline for the Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies on curbing the rising cases of rape, domestic violence, child molestation and incidents Gender-Based Violence in the country.
The IGP said the Operational Guidelines would help coordinate and reshape the conduct of personnel of the police and other law enforcement agencies on the frontlines of operations in the enforcement of COVID-19 prevention orders.
The federal police chief said the guidelines would also serve as a standard code of conduct for police officers in similar operations in the future.
Adamu made this known at the official unveiling of COVID-19 Guidelines/Protocols for Law Enforcement Officers at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
While noting that the gesture was part of measures put in place to foster a harmonious relationship between the Police and members of the public, the Inspector-General said it is also aimed at deepening respect for the rights of citizens, provide a new set of policing tools for tackling emerging crimes like domestic violence, rape, child molestation and other incidents of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Adamu, lamenting over the rise in cases of domestic violence, rape, defilement, cybercrimes etc linked with the COVID-19 restrictions, said: ‘These unfortunate incidents have prompted the introduction of these Operational Guidelines which will help to adequately coordinate and reshape the conducts of personnel of the Force and other law enforcement agencies on the frontline of operations in the enforcement of the COVID-19 prevention orders.’
He said he has ordered for the strengthening of the Gender-Desk Units and the Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWCs) across the country and deployed more investigative personnel to deal with gender-related offences.
He further stated that the Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force has also been strengthened to deal with cybercrimes connected with the COVID-19 pandemic, just as he directed the Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police in Zonal and State Commands as well as Heads of Police Departments/Formations to make the Guidelines subject of departmental briefings and lectures. The Operational Guidelines will also serve as a training manual in all Police training institutions.
The IGP further charged the Force Provost Department, the X-Squad, the Force Public Relations Department, the Complaint Response Unit and the Public Complaint Bureau to carry out their oversight roles of adequate evaluation and monitoring of officers to ensure compliance with the Guidelines and bring erring personnel to book. He also enjoined citizens to cooperate with the police and other Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs), assuring that all hands are on deck to curtail and contain the virus in the country.