Security: North Central governors strategise on community policing

Governors from the Six North Central states have agreed to collaborate toward ensuring effective community policing to tackle the security challenges within the region and the country.
The governors, who converged on Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, at the North Central Security Summit with other stakeholders, also resolved to reinforce and provide improved capacity for the various security apparatus in their respective states in support of the community policing strategy of the Federal Government.
In a communiqué read by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, the summit enjoined traditional rulers and community leaders to assist the police in selecting community policing officers to be recruited to work within the various communities.
The summit also resolved that governors from the zone should hold quarterly joint security meetings to access security situation and as well share intelligence on the movement and activities of criminals within the zone.
It stressed the need for all states within the zone to increase their investment in social intervention programmes to provide legitimate means of livelihood to the youth, especially repentant criminals.
They also agreed that State Governments should provide necessary logistics services to enable Internally Displaced Persons to return to their ancestral homes, while Ministries of Information of the various states are to collaboration with traditional rulers/community leaders and Police Public Relations Officers to create awareness on the need for participation in community policing in the various areas.
Consequently, the summit urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to consider establishing more Police Mobile Force and Counter Terrorism Units bases in troubled spots to complement existing security architecture in states within the zone.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police had said the North Central Summit was the fifth in the series as similar ones had held in four geopolitical zones geared toward effective integration and implementation of the community policing strategy.
Adamu said implementation of resolutions by stakeholders from the previous summits had yielded significant decline in crime rate.
He said the Federal Government was convinced that community level participation was critical to strengthening internal security since most cases of insecurity happened at community level.
He said: “Therefore, mobilising for the participation of citizens in securing their communities, especially at the local level, is a key strategy that the government is determined to employ in its efforts to provide total security for citizens.
“It is in this context that the federal government has approved the adoption of community policing approach as the strategy for policing Nigeria and guaranteeing internal security order.”
The inspector-general said community policing did not imply stripping the police of their primary responsibility.
Rather, it meant a robust partnership with stakeholders in the communities to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the police.
He said: “Our community policing strategy seeks to ensure a comprehensive and participatory approach to security that will guarantee constructive social relations and greater cohesion between the police and the communities.”
He said as a sign of commitment to the implementation of the strategy, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved resources for the Police to recruit special constables in line with sections 49 and 50 of the Police Act.
Adamu said the Special Constables would work with traditional rulers, religious leaders, local associations, organised bodies and Divisional Police Officers toward ensuring safer communities.