By Evelyn Usman
Eighty-eight police officers drawn from different units of the Lagos State Police Command have been trained in Crime Prevention and Community safety , with a view to be abreast with contemporary measures of fighting crimes.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the men and officers, Vice Chancellor of Elizade University , Ondo state, Prof. Oyeyemi Fadayomi, lamented that the Police Strategy at tackling crime was failing, adding that the country was at a cross roads in the area of security and human dignity , owing to series of violence and social disruptions witnessed in different parts of the country.
Fadayomi, in his keynote address at the occasion held at Halogen Academy , in Ikeja , Lagos, stated that every Nigerian was more at risk than before, with the present security situation.
He said: “ What we all observe today is a series of violence and social disruptions resulting in deadly acts being perpetrated against innocent persons. These include kidnapping, bombing of places of worship , motor parks, patrimonial sites and an increasing insurgency and fatal militancy. As a result, everybody is at risk than ever before in Nigeria. The greatest risk that we face is the poisoning effect on our body politics and peaceful co-existence of our people”.
Citing the 2017 Crime Incidence Matrix as a glaring attestation to the security situation in Nigeria, the university don said “ the 2017 Crime Incidence Matrix showing high rate of offences against property, persons and lawful authority, confirms that the present police strategy is failing and that crime incidences can be reduced with inclusiveness of community and other stakeholders”.
He however, proffered that the way out, was for the Police to be in constant touch with the best practices in its recruitment and retraining exercises; police community relations through effective community policing programmes , as well as reduction of community violence, sharing of intelligence within and across agencies and the choice of safe weapons to combat conflicts.
Lending a voice to Fadayomi’s position , while addressing the graduants, the Inspector-General of Police , Ibrahim Idris, admitted that the country was faced with several security challenges ranging from insurgency in the South-East , Fulani/ Farmers clash in the Middle belt, kidnappings and other violent crimes in other parts of the country.
The IGP who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations , Lagos State Police Command, DCP Mohammed Alli, was however quick to add that the problem was being addressed through community policing, which he described as a proactive method of fighting crime.
Other solutions to tackle the contemporary security situation in the country according to him, included the need to be abreast with modern technological advancement, as well as having close synergy with members of the public and other security agencies.
Admonishing the graduating policemen , the Police boss said “ For crime to be proactively tackled and for community policing to succeed , there are basic components needed : the need to have community lectures, need to have close synergy among security agencies and human capital development , that is training and retraining, which is part of why you came here. It is also important to know the nature of crime you are tackling before going out to tackle it”.
In his opening address, the Chief Executive Officer, Halogen Group, Mr Wale Adeoye , who commended policemen for carrying out their constitutional duty inspite of all odds, noted that their presence still commanded sanity in the country .
He informed that 88 policemen drawn from different units of the Lagos State Police Command met the conditions for graduating and obtaining the Professional Executive Diploma in Crime Prevention and Community Safety Course, adding that the current trend in risk management “ will equip our students with requisite skill set to adequately mitigate risk that comes with the modern-day security threats .
“ The impact of technology has greatly increased and the threats to lives and property ,thereby changing the paradigm of security. More virtues are transferred virtually than physically these days, which make cyber security more prevalent”.
He therefore charged the graduants to make good use of all they had learnt , in order to continually bridge the knowledge gap in their profession and the society at large.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Programme Director, Dr Abiola Allen ,explained that the course content was designed to prepare police officers for a brighter carrier , adding that the development of the content was in line with the UNODC curriculum and best practices.
He explained that the Academy Halogen journey started five years ago when it noticed the dearth of capacity in the security space and the inevitable need to bridge the gap in order to enable operatives perform in line with global best practices.
Courses undergone by the grandaunts according to him, included: Understanding Crime Prevention and Community Safety; Wireless Crime and Forensic Investigation; Countering Violent Extremism; Policing Terrorism; Homeland Security at the Local Government level and Reducing crime through Intelligence-Led Policing, among others.