The Commissioner, Lagos State Police Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, said on Friday that illicit fire arms and cultism were the major threats to security and peace in Lagos.
CP Owohunwa disclosed this during an inaugural conference convened for all Strategic Commanders of the Command.
He noted that illicit fire arms and cultism were challenges to the command, stressing, however, that the police will sustain all efforts to mop up all illegal fire arms and check activities of cultists in the state.
According to Owohunwa, now the general elections are over, officers should focus on traditional policing functions.
He said the purpose of the conference was to chart resilient pathways that would advance the attainment of police mandates in a manner that would address the fear of crime among all Lagos residents.
The Commissioner said that the conference was to conduct a postmortem of the just concluded general elections in the state, debrief themselves on their experiences, evaluate their performances and draw lessons that would strengthen election security in future.
Owohunwa said the meeting would review the patterns and trend of crimes in the state, appraise the current policing strategies, and draw from diverse professional experiences.
He said: “As we now re-direct our attention from the election security functions to our routine policing mandate, the Inspector General of Police and indeed ‘Lagosians’ expect us to sustain our sense of service and professionalism towards guaranteeing the safety and security of all citizens in Lagos State.
“In this regard, the immediate challenge facing us is the increasing threat that violent criminals, particularly cultists are posing to Lagos residents.
“Indeed, the activities of cultists have today evolved to become the most threat of concern to public peace and security in the state and it is expedient that we strengthen our operational strategies and action plans that will address this potent threat.
“As a starting point the need to strengthen the capacity of Area Commands and Divisional Police Officers to proactively respond to this threat has become imperative.”
Owohunwa also pointed out that to check all threats, there would be deployment of an elitist, highly-mobile, well-trained, well-equipped, highly experienced, operationally-tested, and compact Special Operations Police Units to Area Commands where cultism was most prevalent.
He said that the plan would ensure that the unique intelligence assets of the force were optimally leveraged on, to support the anti-cultism operations.
The police boss said that the operations of eight special units that were currently centralised under the Office of the Commissioner of Police, would either be decentralised, re-organised, repositioned or disbanded with personnel redeployed to divisional and area commands.
Owohunwa added: “In order to complement this initiative, all area commanders and divisional police officers are charged to re-invigorate their convoy patrol, intelligence-led operations, and visibility policing that would emphasise physical deployment of police personnel and operational assets to police public spaces.
“Armchair DPOs or Area Commanders shall not be tolerated, you should all go out to coordinate police operations and supervise your personnel within your areas of responsibilities.
“To Lagos residents, I wish to once again reassure you of our firm commitment to continue to police in a manner that will be civil enough to protect the law abiding, but potent enough to bring the deviants that are threatening our common values to justice in the swiftest, rule of law-guided and transparent manner.”