By Ugochukwu Alaribe
Abia State Commissioner of Police, Janet Agbede, has urged residents of the state not to be afraid to volunteer information about suspected criminal activities to the police.
Agbede, who stated this during the inauguration of the Police Community Policing Committee, at the Police Area Command, Aba, explained that with the strategies the Command had put in place, the era of policemen leaking information is gone.
The CP, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sani Abdullahi Sani, further urged residents not to hesitate to approach the DPOs, Area Commanders and other senior police offices with vital information about suspected criminal activities, stressing that residents have a role to play in securing the society.
“I can assure that with the strategies we have put in place, the era of policemen leaking information is gone, it will be difficult to happen. We have inaugurated the police community policing committee at the local, divisional levels and Area Command levels.
They must report to the Police at their levels. These committees will be reporting to the DPOs, Area Commanders and the Commissioner of Police at the state level. They were charged to start working immediately. Community policing is a national issue, it is not a new thing. We are going to inaugurate a state command on the 29th of July.
I don’t see how the information will be leaking. You are talking about senior police officers who respect themselves and have their names to protect. It will be difficult to see incidents of information leakages. We are going to work with all the stakeholders, traditional rulers, PCRC and other associations. We are partnering in terms of information gathering, security threat and other areas of crime-fighting.”
The CP lamented that lack of adequate manpower is the major constraint bedevilling the state Command, stressing that it has necessitated the need for community policing.
“If we have enough manpower to take care of crime, we may not need community policing, but the problem is that the number of policemen we have in the federation is not enough. You can imagine that in a country of over 200 million people, the number of policemen is not up to 400,000. When you do the ratio, how many ratio of the public to a policeman?
“There is a UN ratio of persons to one policeman. This is in the event of the policemen being well trained, adequately equipped and well remunerated. Then, you can compare this with the situation we have in Nigeria. By the time, you calculate our own ratio, you will discover that our own will be above the average.”