By Vincent Ujumadu
THE Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu admitted yesterday that the Nigeria Police Force has bad image in the eyes of most people, urging the police image-makers to do everything humanly possible to correct the situation.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Police Public Relations Officers’ Conference at Agulu, Anambra State, the IGP who was represented by an Assistant- Inspector General of Police, AIG Baba Tijjani, the IGP said it was in realization of the bad image of the organization that informed the decision of his administration to embark on image laundering activities to reposition the Nigeria Police Force.
The IGP said: “Unarguably, certain indiscretions and perceived inactions by some personnel of the Force, as well as the security challenges in some parts of the country, impact negatively on the image of the Force.
“This reality, coupled with the dynamic nature of the crime, rapidly advancing information and communication technology, and the changing policing environment that we deal with in the line of our duty, have combined to redefine both the concept of policing and the perception of the police by the citizens.
“Indeed, experts have asserted that there is an intertwining relationship between public perception and the effectiveness of the Police to attain its internal security mandate.
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“The import of this is that our ability to win over the public trust and confidence as a pathway to crime management is precedent on the capacity of you, the officers, to rebrand the police and project it positively to the citizens.
According to the IGP, the Public Relations department of the Nigeria Police remained critical, adding that it was therefore imperative that the PPROs were continually equipped with necessary skills and knowledge to efficiently engage the public and effectively manage the image and perceptions about the Force.
The conference, which had the theme,” Public Relations strategies and communication skills”, was attended by PPROs from the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the 12 Zonal Police Public Relations Officers, as well as Staff Officers of the Force Public Relations Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The workshop was aimed at enhancing the capacity of officers whose primary responsibility was to manage the image and information dissemination process towards repositioning the Nigeria Police and changing the uninformed perceptions and faulty narratives about the Force.