Participants in the one day Mass Sensitization Workshop of the members of the public on community policing has expressed support for the initiative, but called for its proper funding in order for it to be effective and functional.
The participants drawn from the academic community, Christian and Moslem groups, organized Communities, local government authorities, the business class, organized labour, security agencies and civil societies organisations made their feelings known during a mass sensitization of the members of the public on community policing with the theme; “Understanding Community Policing: A Framework For Action”, organized by Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with two private sector groups – Unite Consult Ltd and C.O. Luke & Co for the Southeast geopolitical zone, Enugu State.
The participants emphasised that full implementation of community policing in the communities in Nigeria will effectively tackle the rising problems of insecurity in Nigeria.
They also advised that community policing should be seen as an effective way to promote public safety and to enhance the quality of life in a community especially when the community and police department work together to achieve a common goal of a safer society.
While lauding the presidency and the IGP for the wonderful initiative, they reminded all that security required collective efforts, hence the need for the traditional rulers, youth leaders and other groups in the community to work in synergy with each other.
The Inspector General Of Police, Muhammad Adamu in his message, said that the philosophy behind the introduction of community policing is to provide closer and friendly contact between the police and members of the community in order to enhance the security and safety of the community.
IGP Adamu represented by the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Aliyu disclosed that no system will give various Communities in Nigeria unhindered policing of their communities than the community policing system, through the community policing committees and the special constable.
He pointed out that the reason behind the engagement and utilisation of Special Constabulary in the implementation of community-oriented policing framework is for the establishment of partnership in the community and society in general.
The police IGP seized the opportunity to call on the Southeast governors to assist the police and see to the success of the initiative.
Speaking also, the Abia State Commissioner of Police, CP Janet Agbede lauded IGP Adamu for the initiative, describing it as very important and key for Nigeria security.
Vice President of Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu in his keynote address, said that Community Policing is a relatively novel complimentary approach to overcoming the challenges of insecurity, adding that internal security remained the critical success factor in nation building.
He said the essence of the summit is to engage all stakeholders in the new policing concept for clarification and community ownership.
According to him, the mass sensitization compliments the commendable efforts of the IGP aimed at realizing the vision of Community Policing through capacity building, training and reorientation of the Communities, targeted groups and the police ranks and files.
In a paper presentation entitled, “Understanding Community Policing, A Framework For Action”, Barr. Christopher .O. Luke stated that Community Policing comprises of community Partnership; Organizational Transformation; and Pro-active problem solving, which are the three key components.
Luke suggested that members of the force and the public must understand the community policing vision of IGP Mohammed Adamu before they can run along with it.
His words, “By this, it would be easier for all to implement it and the result of this, is public trust and confidence in the police”.
Declaring the occasion open earlier, the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi pointed out that synergy in security network is very important in order to produce the required result.
Ugwuanyi represented by the state Commissioner for Local Government, Hon. Peter Okoronkwo observed that Nigeria is blessed with one of the most hardworking and committed police force, which needs to be honoured.
He said unlike in Nigeria where the police officer engage his resources/initiative while carrying out his assignment, 80 percent of security in Europe are done by surveillance cameras.
Ugwuanyi called for a well equipped police force, pointing out that it will further boost the community policing especially when there is a synergy between the Communities and the police.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.