The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to the prosecution of war against crime and criminality, saying that it is an unrelenting war which the State would continue to prosecute until all those who benefit from crime are brought to book across the State.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe, who spoke at a Police Security/Stakeholders Community Town Hall Meeting at Aja, Lagos said that the primary responsibility of every government is to ensure the security of lives and properties of the people which the present administration in Lagos State will not shied away from.
He added that this is clearly discernible from the several policy actions and pronouncements of the present administration, stressing that the state government recently donated 120 patrol vans and 35 motorbikes to the State Police Command in conjunction with the Local Governments in the state.
Igbokwe explained that the symbolism of the presentation underscores the determination of the administration not to abdicate its responsibility to its constituents despite the fact that Policing is presently enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution is an exclusive matter.
According to him, admittedly, the main function of the police is to enforce law and order, safeguard lives and property but the nagging question agitating the minds of everyone is how effectively has the Nigerian Police perform that constitutionally assigned role.
“We cannot continue to do the same thing all over the same way and expect to get different results. Largely because of the ineffective crime detection technique employed by the Police, several suggestions have been brought forward on options to be considered”, he stated.
He said one of the options that gained traction is the Community policing which is about engendering harmonious and systematic relationship between the police and the entire people in the community in a more involved way.
Igbokwe maintained that the role of the Police should not simply stop at law enforcement but should also include tackling a huge range of community problems adding that there has been a shift from traditional policing to community policing with the Nigeria Police Force since the year 2004 when the Nigeria Police adopted community policing as a practical approach to policy reforms.
He stated further that the Nigerian Police Force was consistent in its effort to bring about a new and professional policing that is capable of ensuring and maintaining proper security of lives and property in Nigeria.
The special adviser said the community policing approach sought to focus on constructive engagement with people who are the main beneficiaries of the police service while seeking to renegotiate the agreement between the people and the police towards making the community co-producers of justice and a quality police force.
He charged the gathering to ponder over several questions which include, how community policing can be improved, what level of effectiveness has been achieved and what is the level of intelligence sharing between the security agencies and the people.
“Why do we still have reports of street gangs terrorizing residents without such information being relayed to the Police before they start the gang wars. How supportive are our traditional rulers and chiefs in the efforts to make community policing more effective and secure our homes and neighbourhoods” he stated?
The Special Adviser maintained that community-oriented policing is a proactive measure that promotes curbing criminal act, he, therefore, charges all Lagosians to feel free to bring their suggestions to the fore.