Oghene Omonisa, Aderonke Adeyeri, Festus Ahon (Asaba) & Perez Brisibe (Ughelli)
The fight against crime has never been the singular responsibility of the police. Members of the public help in their own ways to ensure the police effectively carry out their primary responsibility of preventing and fighting crime. This has been in the form of reporting threat to lives and properties in their neighbourhoods to the police, and giving relevant information during police investigations.
The ante has been upped lately with the establishment of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), one of whose responsibilities is “to duly and legally establish means of raising funds so as to meet its financial obligations and commitments to crime prevention.” Saturday Vanguard investigations revealed that some communities in Delta State, under the aegis of the PCRC, are doing their bits in assisting the police in achieving their set goals, both in terms of collaboration in crime fighting and provision of facilities for the police formations in the state.
Perimeter fencing of Ughelli Area Command
According to a senior police officer at the Ughelli Police Station, in Ughelli North LGA of the state, one of the projects executed through community efforts to assist the Ughelli Area Command about three years ago, was the construction of a perimeter fence for the Command Headquarters, when Mr. Awosola Awotinde was the Area Commander.
The police officer who pleaded anonymity, said the project was commissioned by the then Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba on April 12, 2013.
He said another project was the building of a conference hall also by the Ughelli PCRC. The hall was commissioned on August 7, 2015 by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Usman Akali.
Construction of office block, hall at Ebrumede
Commenting on the good efforts of the PCRC, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Celestina Kalu explained that the State Command was synergizing and cooperating with them in achieving their objectives.
She said: “They have been trying within their capabilities. Recently, we went to commission an office block building and a hall built at Ebrumede Division by the PCRC; this was sometime in January. The same was done at Ughelli sometime in August last year.
“There are a lot of things they have done in the state and they too cooperate with us, as well as even supporting vigilantes in their respective areas via provision of stipends and other basic items and logistics needed for the operations of these vigilantes.”
Construction of Administrative Block, Officers’ Mess in Warri
The latest in the efforts of the PCRC in the state in assisting the police is the planned construction of multi-million naira Administrative Block and Officers’ Mess at the Nigeria Police B Division Headquarters, Okumagba Layout, Warri. According to a source in the Division PCRC, the project is actually multi-phased with the construction of a security wall, the quarter guard and the charge room, which have already been completed with funds raised by some well-meaning individuals, corporate bodies, associations, trade unions and religious leaders in the community who are mostly members of the PCRC. A commissioning/inauguration/appeal fund launching has been planned for March 10, with the State Commissioner of Police expected to be in attendance.
On the challenges of the Delta State Police Command, Kalu sited the non-availability of communication gadgets as its major constrain, saying, “We basically need communication gadgets so that we can have effective communication across board.
“The gadgets we use presently only work in Asaba and not even in every part of Asaba. It is supposed to be all round Delta State because we have a lot of facilities in the state. “If the communication is working well, when somebody is kidnapped, we would be able to communicate with all the patrol vehicles to be at alert, but for now, we just rely on GSM and you know that is very unreliable, so this is one of our major challenges.”