…as residents laud better visibility, crime drop
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, has said that Governor Godwin Obaseki has institutionalised intelligence-driven community policing by integrating the Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) scheme into the Edo State Security Architecture and Trust Fund.
Kokumo, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital, said that members of PUWOV would prove very useful in the new scheme of things, as provided for in the state’s new security architecture.
While responding to question on the recent arrest and parading of hoodlums on Dumez and Sakponba roads, Kokumo said the feat was achieved “as a result of intelligence-based community policing. There is no way you can possibly achieve good result without involving members of the community that are being policed.
“Intelligence-led community policing has actually assisted us in achieving this feat. We partner with members of the public, community hunters’ association, vigilantes, trade unions, traditional rulers and clerics.”
He noted that the state government has institutionalised intelligence-driven community policing by bringing in members of PUWOV, adding, “The PUWOV is an integral part of the current Operation Wabaizigan in Edo State. They constitute the civilian element of the security architecture in the Edo state.
“We have them in all the nooks and crannies of Edo state. We have them recruited in all local government areas of the state. Essentially, what they do is have their ears on the ground, gather information, process such information and pass the information to the law enforcement agencies. They make such information available to the Divisional Police Officers who will be able to take prompt action,” he said.
A cross-section of residents in the state also said that the reduction in crime in the Benin City and environs can be linked to the new security architecture, especially with the deployment of visibility policing.
“We now have a lot of police presence, and they are now in strategic parts of the city. They are mobile and I believe that is why crime is reducing in the state. We may have one or two isolated cases, but nothing major,” Mr. Benjamin Otasowie, a retired teacher said.
Mr. Omo Oviasuyi noted that the state government was proactive to have launched the new Operation Wabaizigan during the Yuletide season, as even criminals cannot outsmart the police with their new gadgets.