From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Disturbed by some pockets of activities still taking place in Anambra State and its resolve to bring crime to the barest minimum in the state, the state police command has fashioned out new ways and strategies to deal with the situation.
To achieve this, the Nnewi Police Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Jimwan David Dazong, has tasked traditional rulers, president generals, members of the police community relations committee and market associations in Anambra South Senatorial zone to fish out any criminal element in their domain through reporting their activities to the police.
He promised them that their reports would be treated in confidence.
Mr Dazong gave the instruction and assurance at his command in Nnewi during a town hall meeting with all the stakeholders in security matters within the area, including the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs).
The meeting, which was well attended by other security agencies like the Directorate of State Security (DSS), the NSCDC, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), representatives of the Nigerian Prisons Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and community vigilance groups, was moderated by the Anambra State Police Command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Ali Okechukwu (DSP), who represented the commissioner of police.
Mr Dazong while addressing the participants, said that the aim of the meeting was to discuss ways and strategies aimed at adopting community policing practices to address internal security challenges.
The APC said that community policing is partnership between the police and law-abiding citizens to prevent crime, arrest offenders, find solutions to the problems and enhance the quality of life of the citizens.
He noted that the police would always join forces with members of the community to enable them know one another as partners and discuss community concerns in order to establish a safer neighborhood.
Dazong said that the partnership was anchored on the view that the solutions to community security problems required the police and the public to examine innovative ways to address them beyond narrow focus on individual crimes or incidents.
He noted that community policing was an appropriate model for formulation and implementation of policies and measures for crime prevention and control in Nigeria.
He told the participants that the best way to control crime was to report to the police any suspicious meeting, gathering or movement which he promised would be handled confidentially.
The ACP named some of the characteristics of community policing to include community consultation, cooperation, interdependency, multi-agency collaboration and being proactive.
He made it clear that officers and men of the police in this regard are to be open and accountable on the policies and decisions affecting the community, adding that the police are also accountable for their professional and personal standards in treatment of the citizens, saying “and a citizen with a grievance against the police can seek redress.”
One of the traditional rulers, Obi George Onyekaba, Obi Nnewichi, who represented Igwe Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth O. Orizu III, said that it was the duty of every member of any community to report the bad eggs to the police.
He said that if all stakeholders in security matters in every community resolve to give credible information to the police, criminals would all be fished out or brought to the barest minimum.
The traditional ruler of Igbo-Ukwu, Igwe Martin Eze, Idu II, on his part commended the DPO in charge of Aguata Police Division for his untiring efforts in crime control within the area.
Igwe Eze made a special appeal to the Federal Government to empower the traditional rulers financially to be able to meet up with their financial obligations of ruling their subjects.
The traditional ruler also promised to put in practice all that the police had told them.