By Christopher Oji, Lagos
The Executive Secretary/CEO Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Mr Abdurrazaq Balogun, has blamed the rising crime across Lagos in the past weeks to the damage done to police assets and the number of lethal weapons in the possession of non-state actors.
Balogun disclosed this during the 14th Town Hall Meeting on security, organised by the LSSTF, with the theme, “Lagos security: Resilience in the face of adversity,” held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.
Balogun noted that an estimated 80 per cent of the operational vehicles used by the police in the last 13 years were donations from the LSSTF.
Balogun observed that there was a decline in donations to the fund, which has been dismal compared to what it had received in the previous years, a challenge he attributed to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the setting up of similar trust funds agencies by other states, which the LSSFT equally supports.
He said that LSSTF had provided 90 patrol vehicles and six units of outboard engine boats for security operations across the State, among other walking tools that included walkie talkies, raincoats, boots, batteries, among others, apart from the logistics support provided for the police.
Balogun added that the LSSTF would continue to intervene in providing critical support to security agencies operating in Lagos.
The Chairman, LSSTF Board of Trustees, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, added that security agencies with the mandate to protect lives and property are in dire need of critical infrastructure, equipment, training and logistics on the back of the recent happenings in the country.
‘As we cannot wish away these realities, there is a paramount need to continue to support the security agents operating in our state to deter, track down, confront, arrest, and prosecute criminals, so that our businesses and social lives can prosper and our families can be safe,’ he stated.
On his part, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said during his report that police personnel were overstretched as they have a shortage of resources, material and personnel and they were daunting to effectively combat crimes in the state, due to the constant logistics supplies from the State Government.
Odumosu gave the breakdown of crimes recorded in Lagos from October 2019 to last November, saying that the Command foiled 273 cases of armed robbery, arrested 1,181 robbery suspects while 27 suspected robbers were killed during encounters with the police.