David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has stated that the ongoing reforms of 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.
Idris who spoke to journalists wednesday in Awka, Anambra State, during a tour of the state police command, 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, IG’s X- Squad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Amaechi Elumelu, said the police force had 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 could lead to outright dismissal.
“The FSARS has been remodeled to serve the public better and also combate 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 IG’s 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 said.