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POLICE: Manpower shortage fuels crime in Warri, Effurun, environs

…Man flees home following repeated robbery attacks

…We are doing our best in Warri -PPRO

By Egufe Yafugborhi

WARRI – POLICE divisions in Warri, Effurun and neighboring localities are currently hit by manpower shortage, a challenge that is triggering increased crime in the affected areas.

Vanguard investigations revealed that though the staff profile of most divisions indicates significant proportion of men on paper, many are incapacitated by ill health, mainly from injuries suffered in the line of duty. Several are inordinately placed on guard duties to corporate bodies and private individuals, leaving policing of the larger populace at the mercy of a grossly overwhelmed duty ready few.

Divisional Police Officers across the areas visited declined comment on the development, but police sources told Vanguard that the situation, if not promptly addressed by the authorities portends serious threat to security of the people.

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A source said, “The number of duty ready male police are further depleted by being drafted outside their actual area of jurisdiction on special duties to maintain law and order in troubled spots like warring communities or herdsmen ravaged areas. Yet others are drafted to form Special Anti-Robbery Squads and similar formations.

“You then have police divisions dominated by increasing number of women who are hardly fit for core operations like patrols and raids. And they keep bringing in more women and taking away men. It’s so bad now that in some divisions you find less than forty duty ready policemen to over 140 female personnel who just sit in the offices.

“That is why you now find only two policemen on patrol in some areas, endangering their lives and that of the populace. Our capacity to respond promptly to distress calls or carry out raids is being seriously reduced. But for the support from the vigilantes and other security agencies, the crimes situation could have been worse.

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, Delta Command, CSP Andrew Aniamaka said, “Do you know Eagle Net Squad? It is one of the most efficient, most prolific police squads. All the persons I can think of there are men. They man Warri mainly and environs. There is Dragon Squad, made up of agile, competent, balanced police officers and men. Most of them are also in Warri.

“Do you know the Quick Response Squad, based in Warri. That is telling you that Warri has not in any way been neglected. Warri has enough officers and men doing their best within available resources to police the place. We are not singing uhuru yet, not saying we are 100% efficient to manage crime in Warri, but for goodness sake commend us a little.”

Meanwhile, a victim of poor policing in Effurun, Uvwie council area, Evang. Peter Kpokpor has been forced to vacate his private home off Uti Road, to  rent apartment in neighboring Warri following repeated attacks by men of the underworld.

Unsettled Kpokpor said, “They have been disturbing the peace of the place where I built my house. It got to a head on this night when they broke into my home, had all the time to pack several of my property into my own vehicle and drove with no security agent intervening.

“We have vigilante we pay monthly. Soldiers have checkpoints around Uti, police patrol at intervals, but no one came to our rescue. It took divine intervention to have my car broken down on their way as they moved away my belongings. They made away with what they could carry and abandoned the car.

“Within that fateful week, they returned thrice to rob my close neighbors with same impunity as they had in my home. I had no choice than to abandon my home and relocate away from Uvwie.”

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