In line with the Lagos State Government’s zero tolerance to issues of sexual and gender-based violence, the State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Police on the best strategies to adopt in handling issues relating to such crime.
The DSVRT had specifically presented copies of sexual offences related laws namely the Child’s rights law, 2007; Prevention Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007; and the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 to the Nigeria Police to familiarize with the relevant laws.
The presentation, which took place on Friday, December 18 at the Lagos State Police Headquarters in Ikeja, was attended by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Ajani Owoseni, along with some Deputy Commissioners of Police and other top level officers, as well as members of the DSVRT.
A statement issued and signed by DSVRT Coordinator, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the provision of the laws was one of the various initiatives adopted to improve the capacity of the police in responding to reports of rape, defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, maltreatment and neglect.
She added that the availability of the laws would serve as a most resourceful tool for investigation and rightful prosecution where applicable.
According to the statement, Vivour-Adeniyi said: “The team informed the Commissioner of police that it would not relent in its campaign of ensuring a coordinated approach is adopted in handling sexual and gender-based violence crimes in the State.”
She added that the training of Police officers which commenced in 2014 would be rolled out on a larger scale so as to ensure that the police, as a critical point of contact, is well equipped to engage the victims, especially when they are still in traumatic conditions.
She further noted that it was equally important for the police to device means of improving on the method of gathering and preserving evidence.
Besides, Vivour-Adeniyi said the benefits of the training sessions for police officers would be a more successful and fast-tracked process of prosecution of sexual and gender-based cases, and most importantly, it would increase in public confidence as regards reporting to the police.
The Commissioner of Police, Owoseni, whilst receiving the laws on behalf of the Nigeria Police, reaffirmed the commitment and partnership of the police towards eradicating sexual and gender-based violence and crimes in the State.