… SETS UP COMMUNITY POLICING STRUCTURES AT STATE, AREA COMMANDS, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND DIVISIONAL LEVELS
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu, psc(+) has on Thursday 25/06/2020 inaugurated three different Community Policing Committees across the Area Commands, LGAs and LCDCs and Divisions in Lagos State. The exercise took place simultaneously across in the 14 Area Commands.
The AIG who represented the IGP, was supported by the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc and Deputy Commissioners of Police from Zone 2 Headquarters and Lagos State Command.
The Committees inaugurated are: Area Command Community Policing Advisory committees, Local Government Advisory committees and Divisional Community Policing Committees. Recalled that, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has earlier inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee and State Community Policing Committee.
The Committees are 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 Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu Abubakar, NPM, mni.
- Community policing is both a philosophy and an organisational strategy that allows 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. It is 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 that 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. The Act provides for the recruitment of Special Constables to serve particular security maintenance purposes within a limited geographical area. It also confers on them the powers, privileges and immunities of a Police Officer within their localities.
- The plan as approved by the Federal Government is to leverage on these statutory provisions to recruit Special Constables from within the communities, train and kit them and deploy them as Community Police Officers to drive the Community Policing initiative at the grassroots levels.
- The roles of Community Police Officers include: To manage and support a policing team who patrol smaller geographical areas within the community; To respond quickly to distress calls in their area; To arrest Offenders; To prevent breaches of the peace; To take initial action at the scene of crimes; To resolves disputes; To deal with traffic accidents and record witness evidence; Gathering of intelligence report daily from the community and pass on that intelligence information to the Divisional Police Officer within the area; Build formal and effective relationship with the community; Give basic crime prevention advice visit schools and give community talks to school children.
- The requirements for the appointment of the Special Constables that will serve as Community Policing Officers are contained in Section 50 of Police Act. It provides that, competent authority may appoint as a Special Constable any person whether male or female (a) Who has attained the age of 21yrs but has not attained the age of 50yrs; and (b) Is of good character and physically fit; (c) Has signifies his/her willingness to serve as a special constable; (d) Must reside within the community.
- The following structures are created to drive the process and ensure that community policing is fully implemented in the State: 1. State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC); 2. State Community Policing Committee; 3. Area Command Community Policing Advisory Committee; 4. Local Government Advisory Committee; 5. Divisional Community Policing Committee.
(a) State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC):
The State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) is the custodian of community policing in the state. The SCPAC deals with community policing matters. The Police Commissioner shall, on behalf of the committee, report to the State Security Council, chaired by the Governor of the State.
SCPAC has six members comprising the following: The paramount Traditional Ruler and the Commissioner of Police in the State to co-chair the committee; Heads of Security Agencies in the State; Representative of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC); One representative each from Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); One representative from each of the three senatorial districts in the state. The person to be appointed should be of reputable character, educated, non-partisan, acceptable to the generality of the people, and residing in the community.
(b) State Community Policing Committee (SCPC): The State Community Policing Committee manages and coordinates the state community-policing programme. The SCPC fosters security awareness and monitors progress on community policing.
The committee meets at least once a month (and can convene and emergency meeting as the need arises) with all the LGA Chairmen and DPOs in the State in attendance. SCPC shall also convene a general meeting at the end of every quarter to review the community-policing activities in the LGAs and to develop or unveil new approaches to community policing based on challenges, success stories and need.
The State Community Policing Committee has the following members: Representative of the Commissioner of Police (a Deputy Commissioner of Police); A Traditional Ruler; Representative of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC); One representative each from Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Representative of Civil Society Organizations; Representative of Labour Union; Representative of National Council of Women Society; Representative of National Youth Council of Nigeria; Representative of People Living with Disabilities; Representative of NBA, etc.
(c) Area Command Community Policing Advisory Committee (ACPAC): There shall be an advisory committee on community policing to work at the Area Command level. As a wide area advisory body, the ACPAC will have as its members DPOs, officers from other security services and residents considered equipped and predisposed to provide information and other resources to contribute to societal peace, conflict resolution, and safe neighbourhood. The ACPAC shall, therefore, comprise of security officers and prominent members of the community that work with the grassroots in various vocations, location and civil society structures.
The ACPAC will have the following membership: Area Commander; Divisional Police Officers; Representative of Traditional Institution (on rotational basis); Representative of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC); Representative of Department of State Services; Representative of Nigeria Correctional Services; Representative of Nigeria Custom Service; Representative of Nigeria Immigration Service; Representative of NDLEA; Representative of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; Representative of FRSC; Retired Police Officer; Retired Military Officer; Community leaders; One representative each from Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Representative of Educational Institutions; Representative of the Central or major Market in each of the LGA under the Area Command; Representative of the NBA; Representative of NMA, etc.
(d) Local Government Community Policing Advisory Committee (LGCPAC): The Local Government Community Policing Advisory Committee (LGCPAC) is the responsible champion of community policing development in its area. LGCPAC shall work with the LGC Chairman to provide support for community sensitization, security awareness and other supports considered essential for community policing to take root and succeed in the communities under the LGA. The LGCPAC which reports to SCCPC, shall comprise the following members: Divisional Police Officer (DPOs); Local Government Chairman; Traditional Ruler; One representative each from Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affair (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Representative of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC); A retired Police Officer; Representative of Nigerian Legion; Representative of Vigilante Groups; Representative of Union of Traders; Representative of Framers; Representative of Herders/Fishermen; Representative of National Council of Women Society; Representative of National Youth Council of Nigeria; Representative of Nigerian Association of People Living with Disabilities; Representative of Hoteliers; Representative of Transport Unions; Representative of Artisans; etc.
(e) Divisional Community Policing Committee (DCPC): The Divisional Community Policing Committee shall comprise Head of Village/Area/Quarters level Community Policing. This level shall be responsible for screening of persons to be recruited to serve as Special Constables in the communities they belong.
The Special Constables working with Village/Area/Quarters Level Community Policing shall keep the peace, promote safety and security awareness, gather intelligence, fight social vices, and settle civil disputes and petty crimes.
The DCPC shall oversee the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community policing at the grassroots. The DCPC shall at all times be inclusive and adopt the participatory approach and shall comprise the following members: Traditional Ruler; Heads of Village/Area/Quarters Community Policing; One representative each from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA); Representative of Town Union; Representative of Ministry of Health; Representative of Ministry of Social Welfare (preferably a social worker); Representative of NDLEA; Representative of Farmers Association; Representative of Herders/Fishermen Association; Representative of Hunters Association; Representative of Vigilante; Representative of Artisans; Representative of Traders’ Unions; Representative of National Union of Road Transport Workers; Representative of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria; Representative of Hoteliers; Representative of Women (non-partisan); Representative of Tertiary Students (non-partisan); Representative of Youths (non-partisan), etc.
- Details concerning the recruitment of the community policing officers will be announced soon.
DSP Bala Elkana
Police Public Relations Officer,
Lagos State Command.