Authorities of the Nigeria Police Force on Friday officially inaugurated the Area ‘H’ Police Command, Lagos community policing committee, with a view to actualising the agenda of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, of grass root policing.
Members of the committee were drawn from Kosofe, Shomolu, Bariga, Agboyi-Ketu and Isheri local community development areas, which are under Area ‘H’ Command of the Lagos State Police Command.
Speaking at the occasion, the Inspector General of Police, who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Ahmed Iliyasu, noted that following the recent upsurge in crimes and other social disorder, the current management under his leadership considered the urgent need to holistically implement community policing.
In an address delivered by Ola Agboola, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration at the Lagos State Police Command, who stood for the AIG, the Inspector General of Police said: “In order to effectively drive the community policing initiative, which is majorly citizens-centred, the composition of community policing committees at the state, area command, local government areas and divisional levels became imperative.
“This policing strategy connotes that police can only effectively and efficiently resolve crime, fear of crime, social/physical disorder and neighbourhood decay if they work in partnership with the community.”
While appreciating the committee members “for yielding to the call to be part of this all important to our nation,” Adamu charged them to identify credible and suitable citizens from across their localities for appointment as special constables who will serve as Community Policing Officers.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander in charge of Area H, who was represented by his second in charge, Woman CSP Adekola Olubunmi, said the introduction of community policing a few years ago has brought a paradigm shift from “reactive law enforcement to proactive problem solving”.
According to him, the “shift in emphasis from law enforcement to problem solving represents a major change from what is commonly known as traditional policing to a community policing approach”.
He stated that the reasons for adopting the more proactive approach inherent in Community Policing are both philosophical and pragmatic, emphasizing that at the philosophical level any police organization that seeks to serve democratic and humanitarian ideals must be seen to be transparent, fair, political, accountable and responsive to public expectations.
At the pragmatic level, he said: “There exists a wealth of evidence to confirm that the traditional approach to policing, which tends to be reactive and exclusively law enforcement-based, is ultimately not effective in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour in our society.
“In addition, a predominantly reactive policing style will encourage a culture whereby the police and the public develop ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality towards one another.”
He posited that the inevitable outcome is that the police image suffers, public confidence declines and citizens withdraw their voluntary support and cooperation to the police.
The Committees inaugurated at the event included Area Command Community Policing Advisory, Local Government Advisory and Divisional Community Policing.
Responding on behalf of all committee members, Funso Adegoke said it was a great privilege and honour for them to be given great opportunity to serve.
Adegoke promised that they would live up to expectation and justify the confidence reposed in them.
He praised the effort of Prof. J. O. Agboye, the Baamowe of Ikejaland, for his constant support to the Police Community Relations Committee.
Agboye was one of the guests at the ceremony.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ogudu Police Station, Superintendent of Police Celestina Kalu, had led other DPOs under Area H command in ensuring that the inauguration ceremony was a huge success.