The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to invite the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to suggest ways and means the country could actualise community policing.
The directive followed a motion on “The need to Post Junior Cadre of Nigeria Police Force to their States and Local Government to enhance community policing in Nigeria” sponsored by Sen. Ademola Adeleke (PDP-Osun).
While leading debate on the motion, Adeleke said that the senate was “concerned that government inconsistency in policy implementation had affected welfare of police personnel.
He said that the implication of the situation was that it was adversely affecting citizens in the society in terms of service delivery.
He stressed that it was desirous that the lower rank of Police Force should be posted to their respective states of origin to improve and impact positively on community policing.
According to the lawmaker, this will be possible through synergising with vigilante groups, traditional rulers so as to address the current state of insecurity in the country.
He said that there had been calls for the establishment of state police to proffer lasting solution to the perennial security challenges due in the country.
Adeleke said that the lapse in security was due to “ineffectiveness or outright bias of the Nigerian Police Force in carrying out their national assignment’’.
He also observed that the disconnection between the Nigerian Police and the various communities with their different cultural values and orientation created a vacuum that needed to be filled through community policing.
He that it would avail the Federal Police the opportunity to concentrate on its primary duties of detection, prevention and prosecution of crime at the national level.
In his contribution, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) said implementing community policing would help check crime in communities across the country.
Bwacha, who is Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, noted that persistent killings and other criminal activities would have reduced drastically or even stopped if the police had been working with vigilante or other community security groups.
“Community policing is very important in stopping criminals and enhance security in the country.
“It will be easier for the Police to maintain law and order if there is community policing, because it will create a synergy in policing and create sense of belonging in the people of the community”.
Sen. Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi) said “this motion will go a long way in addressing the well-being and accommodation of junior cadre of the police.”
He added that it would also help in securing and protecting communities in the country.
On his part, Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Olusola Adeyeye, said “in this atmosphere of insecurity, the time has come to promote community policing.”
He said that if the central police worked with the community police, the synergy would ensure that communities were well fortified and closely secured.
“All crimes are local and if you can’t speak the local language, you are not likely to address the security issues in the communities,” he said.
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, urged police authorities to implement its idea of enhancing community policing in the country.
He pointed out that different countries had different policing architecture for the enhancement of security.
Ekweremadu, however, affirmed that “it is difficult to address the issue of community policing without first, decentralising the police to ascertain their state, down to their local government and their communities”.