By Dayo Johnson
WORRIED by the excesses in the activities of various vigilante groups in Ondo State, the State Police Command yesterday insisted that all individuals and groups assisting the police on crime prevention and control must register with the command headquarters for proper coordination and monitoring.
The Command said in Akure that the registration would ensure effective co-ordination of vigilante groups for the Community Policing Project.
The Consultant/Vigilante Coordinator for the project, Mr Chris Udeze announced the plan of the police at an interactive session attended by some Divisional Police Officers DPOs in the state and various vigilante groups in Akure.
Udeze, who said the project was already on in Anambra, Edo and Kwara states said â€œformation of Community Policing Project Monitoring Group became necessary to assist in checking the excesses of vigilante operatives and to assist in ensuring that they do not turn out to be a source of embarrassment to the police force.
According to him “the Community Policing is the modern trend in preventing and combating crimes as the number of policemen in the country is not commensurate with the population of the country.
Udeze pointed out that the registration would involve generation of data on all units and operatives including arms used by them and identification of an administrative head of the unit who would be held liable for all actions and inactions of the vigilante operatives in a particular unit.
The Coordinator said there would be periodic training and retraining of operatives to take care of observed lapses and provide them with tips on new techniques to be adopted in rime prevention and control
The Police Commissioner in the state, Mr Donald Iroham said importance of synergy between the police and the community in crime control cannot be overemphasised.
Iroham who spoke through Abubakar Suberu, a Chief Superintendent of Police urged members of the vigilante groups to operate in line with the codes guiding their operation.
He asked them to live above board and carry the DPO in their areas of operation along in their activities.