Sixteen Air Provost Personnel of the Nigerian Air Force, comprising officers and men have commenced a two-week training on core investigative and interviewing skills.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during the Air Provost conference.
Abubakar said the course was aimed at building the capacity of the personnel to effectively employ scientific approaches in all facets of investigation.
He said that another set of 16 personnel were set to begin the “Crime Scene Investigation’’ course by September.
The air force chief said the skills acquisition was crucial to the personnel to make them relevant and resilient in a dynamic environment.
He said: “Already, 16 Air Provost personnel comprising officers and men have commenced a core investigative skills and investigative interviewing course.
“Another set of 16 personnel are set to begin the Crime Scene Investigation course by September.”
He noted that over the years, the dynamics of crime and contemporary security threats have challenged the capacity of the air provost to deliver with efficacy on its mandate.
Abubakar described them as custodian of security and law enforcement in NAF.
He said that the provost would need to acquire both indigenous and foreign expertise and experiences that would keep them abreast with the latest trends and development in crime fighting and security.
Abubakar said the courses, conducted in conjunction with credible foreign partners from the United Kingdom, were intended to reinforce the culture and efficacy of scientific approaches to policing in the air force.
He said: “It is envisaged that with more emphasis on the use of scientific aids to policing, the Air Provost would be better poised to speedily and effectively discharge its law enforcement and security duties with a higher degree of accuracy.
“Already, the Provost Investigation Centre has been upgraded into a group status, and as I speak, the expansion, remodeling and reactivation of the Provost Investigation Group’s Crime Laboratory, which has been disused for over 30 years is ongoing.”
The CAS expressed optimism that once the crime laboratory becomes operational, forensic investigation would receive a boost in the NAF.
He said: “This conference, therefore, is an essential platform to deliberate on crime and security concerns specific to the Nigerian Air Force, as well as share experiences that would inspire provost personnel to better anticipate and prepare for future challenges.’’
Abubakar said that it was imperative that the provost be innovative and pursue modern advances in policing, including ideology, models and concepts, in order to be effective.
He said: “Secondly, the Provost must be flexible enough to interface and work alongside other NAF specialties and sister security agencies to create a synergistic approach towards law enforcement and security.’’
The resource person at the conference, Dr Ona Ekhomu, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, in a presentation on Scientific Approach to Crime Prevention: A Prerequisite for Contemporary Air Police Operations said that infrastructure must be in place for scientific approach to work.
On crime prevention, he said that efforts must be made by a policing agency to reduce crime, as well as enforce the law.