Some Nigerians on Wednesday commended the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police for the use of helicopters for effective combating of crime.
Those who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that the development would help to fight and reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state if all that was needed were done.
They also said that technologies like the use of drones should be applied to rid the state of criminals and criminality.
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS) or aircraft either controlled by “pilots’’ from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission.
Mr Governor Imitini, a Legal Criminology and Security Psychologist, said that the helicopters would help to analyses the activities in areas that were prone to crime.
He added that the helicopters should be allowed to parade the areas at particular hours during which criminal activities take place the day.
“It is a welcome idea that the Lagos State Government to procure more helicopters for security surveillance.
“There is what we call hot spot identification; the Police in Lagos State are supposed to carry out surveillance that will give us a total view of hot spots.
“At the time we view all these hot spots, you will be able to know what kind of activities that are going on there.
“There is what we call drone; these drones have what we call Wi-Fi crackers which are attached to things like helicopters,’’ he said.
“It will hover round a particular area and scan it for visual images and then you will be able to know the activities going on there.
“By the time you collate this information it will then take us to analysis.
“The question is will they be able to buy it and do we have experts in that field that can fly and make use of the equipment to get results?’’
A Security Expert, Dr Onah Ekhomu, said that helicopters were important tools in fighting crime.
He added that there was a need for the police to create an effective emergency call centres to enable swift response to crime.
“Helicopters are important tools for law enforcement agencies, combating terrorist acts and getting officers to scene of disaster quick.
“Lagos as you can observe has become a huge metropolis, the number of cars and people travelling within the state has increased tremendously much more than the road infrastructure can bear.
“That is one of the reasons we have gridlock everywhere now. With gridlock it is very difficult for emergency crew or for the police to respond to crime in good time.
“There has always been an air wing in the Nigerian police force, it’s just that we lack the culture of maintenance and renewing and this made everything fall to apart,’’ he said.
“ Oversees, they have helicopters that get swiftly to scenes of incidents. At the level Nigeria is today, the police can afford helicopters to be able to combat violent crimes.
“What we see happening now is the corollary of not just getting helicopters; it is also how to get the call for the service.
“If a place is being robbed how do we get the call through to the authorities? Where is the 911 centre where people can call?’’.
Mr Monday Ubani, former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, also said that police officers should be deployed to areas that are known for criminal activities.
He added that police officers should carry out proper surveillance in preventing crimes from happening.
“The Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, are thinking in the direction of providing adequate security in Lagos State.
“We are experiencing robbery all over Lagos, especially in the traffic.
“Robbers are now on the prowl in gridlock and any responsible government must begin to think how to secure lives and property.
“It is not the issue of buying helicopters, we also need the presence of policemen all over the place and then the black spots must have police presence,’’ he said.
“The policemen know that the criminals hide in undeveloped properties, there are so many undeveloped properties all over the place and they sleep there and smoke all manners of things.
“The police should be deployed to such environment to fish them out and that is how it is done in any developed country.
“Most time we find out that we know where the black spots and areas the criminal hang out but we don’t do anything.’’
The legal practitioner said that often the residents see the criminals acting with impunity and there certain areas in Lagos that there were so many of these criminals.
“They have no jobs, they loiter around, they smoke all manner of things, and the police allow them.
“Those are potential criminals in the night; those are people who rob in the night.
“Apart from buying helicopters, we must have more of intelligent security investigations.
“We also need to be able to stop crime before they are committed because there is a dictum that says `prevention is better than cure’, so, I think we need to be more proactive,’’ he said.