..arrests over 4,000 criminal suspects in seven months
..to recruit 40,000 community policing officers nationwide
The Nigeria Police Force said on Tuesday it has recovered 1,181 firearms including Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, and rocket launchers.
The Inspector-General, Mohammed Adamu, who disclosed this in Abuja at a one-day conference organised by the Force Headquarters for senior officers, said that the firearms were recovered between January and July.
He said that 4,187 high profile suspects were arrested, including 1,629 armed robbery suspects, 1,053 suspected kidnappers, 1,023 over cultists and 482 over murder cases within the period.
Mr Adamu said that 389 stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminal elements with 506 kidnapped victims rescued in the period under review.
According to him, 300 of the victims were rescued in Zamfara alone, adding that 249 of the victims were rescued between July 9 and July 23, from bandits and militias operating in and out of forests in the state.
He said that the achievements were attributable to the narrowing of the trust gap between the Police and citizens.
“The communities have demonstrated impressive commitment toward partnering the Police in presenting a common front against criminal elements. This is a good development,” he said.
Mr Adamu said that the achievement was suggestive of the institutional capability of the Police to undertake specialised operations and take the anti-crime war to the camps and other safe havens of high-profile criminals.
“The achievements are also indicative of the effectiveness of the Operation Puff Adder and other strategies employed by the Nigeria Police to address prevalent crimes in the country.
“To sustain these gains, we have commenced the process of implementing the Community Policing concept which involves the engagement of citizens in identifying and prioritising prevalent communal security threats.
“The idea is to bring communities to work together with the Police toward developing and implementing solutions to the identified threats,” he said.
He said that the Police would draw from the `Provisions of the Police Act’ in relation to the recruitment and utilization of Special Constables that would be engaged as Community Policing Officers, CPOs.
The Police boss said that the CPOs would be under the coordination of the Nigeria Police Force and form the base of the community-focused policing architecture.
“The breakdown of the community policing deployment plan covers the recruitment of a total of 40,000 CPOs across the country in the interim.
“The CPOs will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside, with an average of 50 CPOs to be engaged in each of the 774 Local Government Areas.
“In addition, 1,300 CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies like the academics, road transport unions, artisans, traders associations, religious bodies, women unions and youth organisations to ensure diverse representation,” he added.
He said that the new recruits would be deployed to complement law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties, and also act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.