Ahmed Iliyasu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos, on Thursday inaugurated three different Community Policing committees across Police Area Commands, local government areas, local council development centres and divisions in Lagos State.
The exercise took place simultaneously across the 14 Area Commands in Lagos State.
The AIG, who represented Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu, was supported by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, and deputy commissioners of police from Zone 2 Headquarters and Lagos State Command.
The committees inaugurated are: Area Command Community Policing Advisory Committee, Local Government Advisory Committees and Divisional Community Policing Committee.
Iliyasu said that the committees would be responsible for driving the community policing policies and strategies approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria and championed by the Nigeria Police under the leadership of the IGP.
He said community policing was both a philosophy and an organisational strategy that allowed the police and the community to work closely together in creative ways to solve the problems of crime, illicit drugs, fear of crime and social disorder.
He said it was a partnership between the police and members of the community to fight crime and criminalities and other social issues/disorder within the community which will eventually improve the quality of life for everyone in that community.
“The community policing model being envisioned for Nigeria is one that draws on the legal opportunities provided by the Police Act for the engagement of special constables who will serve as Community Policing Officers under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture.
“ This is necessitated by the fact that crime is community based and community based approach is required to effectively address it. In other words, local problems should be given local solutions.
“Under the Police Act, a special constable is an auxiliary police or part-time law enforcement officer who is specifically appointed to complement the conventional police in crime management and maintenance of law and order whenever the need arises, with the exception of being engaged in military duties
“Provisions for the establishment and utilization of special constables are contained in Section 49 of the Police Act and they are appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 50 (1) of the Police Act,” he said.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee and State Community Policing Committee.
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has faced serious security challenges in recent times, including the activities of cult groups who have carved out territories for themselves.
At the peak of the lockdown against the spread of COVID-19 in April, street gangs launched attacks on the populace which led to public outcry and intervention by the police.
The increased crime rate across Nigeria has necessitated calls for the decentralisation of Nigeria Police Force, among other options.
The leaders of the Southwest in 2019 set up a regional policing structure, Amatekun, to deal with crime but the police preferred community policing under its control.