By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr Ibrahim Idris, has said that part of the ongoing reforms for the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS) will include the installation of a device, Custody Management System, to check abuse by men of the squad in the area of illegal detention.
The IG, who spoke to journalists in Awka during a tour of state commands, said the device would be configured to alert relevant offices once a suspect is detained, and also when the detention exceeds the permitted 48 hours.
Idris, who was represented by the coordinator, IGP X Squad, DCP Amaechi Elumelu, said the police force has fine-tuned several strategies that would help it perform better, devoid of previous complaints by the public.
Elumelu warned the operatives sternly that any act of misconduct by them against members of the public could lead to outright dismissal.
He said: “The FSARS has been remodelled to serve the public better and also combat crime. Let me say it clearly that the squad will only deal with robbery and kidnap cases. It will not dabble into land and other civil matters because that is not our scope.
“Training and retraining of personnel will be even more regular. I am not promising that the men would be sent overseas for training, because of the large number of men involved, it would be easier to bring men from outside the country to train them here.
“Besides all these reforms, we are also exploring technology to ensure the efficiency of our men. The Custody Management System is one of them, and that device will help us monitor the abuse of detaining people illegally without charging them to court.”
He added that another of such is the development of an application that all phone users can download on their phones, and which could help them send complaints directly to force headquarters and have them tackled immediately.
“The era where SARS officials torture suspects even before they are proven guilty is gone. As the coordinator of the IGP X Squad, we shall also be going around to monitor their activities.
“I repeat, it is illegal for SARS operatives to stop a vehicle without formal complaint and begin to check people’s phones and laptops, that will not happen again,” he promised.