Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, has enumerated measures being executed by the police to stamp out violent crimes in the country.
This came as Rivers State government pledged continued support for the police despite the alleged use of the force to scuttle programmes in the state.
The IG spoke on Tuesday during a lecture he delivered at a break out session tagged ‘Conversation with the IGP on Enhancing Security in Nigeria’ organised by the NBA/Police Lawyers Forum in the on-going 56th Annual General conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Port Harcourt.
Idris, who was represented by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Hyacinth Dagala, noted that current security challenges in the country like armed robbery, kidnapping, insurgency, militancy, murder and cattle rustling had placed more responsibility on the police to seek for new ways to confront the menace.
“I and my force management team are committed and determined to reverse the trend. These vices will not only be stamped out of our national life experiences but perpetrators will be arrested and effectively prosecuted.
“This will send a strong signal to the criminal-minded people and to the law-abiding citizens that it is no longer business as usual,” he said.
He said, as part of operational strategy adopted by the police to enhance security in the country, the force had introduced technology-based policing.
He listed scientific and intelligence-based policing, establishment of a crime data base, and establishment of forensic laboratories in the six geo-political zones in the country as measures in that direction.
“I have commenced the construction of a crime data base in Force Headquarters, Abuja, with a back-up office in Lagos. The data base will be connected to all police stations in Nigeria and ensure the recording of arrests as stipulated by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJ) 2015,” he said.
He said the police data base would be linked to relevant agencies and communication companies to ensure an all-inclusive data base for the country.
On tackling insurgency, militancy and other crimes, Idris noted that violent crimes were gradually taking over the streets, neighbourhoods and communities in the country.
“The ability of the police to prevent, detect and prosecute those involved in these criminal activities will attract respect, trust and confidence,” he said.
To achieve that, he said the police had initiated the re-organisation and restructuring of police special units such as police mobile force (PMF), the counter terrorism unit (CTU) and the special protection unit (SPU) and the border patrol unit, to make them more responsive to the security needs of Nigerians.
He also listed collaboration and establishment of joint operation centres, increased motorised patrols and capacity building as components of the new drive.
The inspector general also said, “The police under my leadership will no longer occupy a second place in the fight against corruption.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has assured the police of its continued support despite the fact that the force was being used by the federal government to scuttle programmes of the state.
In his goodwill message at the forum, Rivers state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Emmanuel Aguma SAN), said the state was ready and happy to work with the police to secure lives and property in the state.
“We are happy to work with the police regardless of the constraints arising from their obeying higher orders. We do not blame them. We will continue to assist the police with logistics and other materials to keep our state secure.
In Rivers State, we have a government that will continue to do everything to ensure that the state is secure,” Aguma said.