Lagos Inaugurates Committees on Community Policing

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Segun James

The Lagos State Government wednesday joined the league of states governments that have inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and its operations arm, the State Community Policing Committee (SCPC).

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the event marked a turning point in the government’s deliberate effort to re-strategise and rethink the security architecture through the community policing initiative that was proposed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Muhammed Abubakar Adamu.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Today is a particularly important and auspicious day for the good people of Lagos State. We are gathered here to take an important step in the implementation of a long overdue policing reform effort – the community policing initiative.

“In a democracy, the involvement of the people in all matters of governance, especially on issues that impact directly on their well-being, is key to achieving good governance. One of the inadequacies of our current policing systems has been its inability to tap the knowledge and intelligence that exist at neighbourhood and community level.

“The work that the police are expected to do becomes more difficult when they are expected to do it alone. No matter how well-resourced or technologically advanced a police force might be, there might be no progress without the trust and support of the communities in which they operate. Every citizen has a role to play in ensuring that the security architecture functions optimally.”

The governor noted that the community policing security initiative in the ountry is long overdue, adding that the reform is being implemented with the objective to address inadequacies of the current policing model, which, he said, had failed to engage members of local communities and neighbourhoods in knowledge sharing and intelligence gathering that could help in nipping crimes in the bud.

The SCPAC, which is Co-chaired by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, and chairman of Council of Obas and Chiefs in Lagos State, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, would be the custodian of the initiative and maintain the highest level of oversight on community policing in the state.

SPAC, on the other hand, would be responsible for managing and coordinating the state-level operations of the community policing programme. It would also help to identify security threats in communities and work with the police and the community police officers (CPOs) in evolving appropriate strategies for addressing them.

Sanwo-Olu said the community policing initiative was conceived to evolve fundamental changes in the way the government responds to security matters and make security agencies proactive in discharging their statutory duties.