ActionAid Nigeria on Tuesday organised a two-day training on Community Policing for Nigeria Police officers in Kogi to help address issues of crimes and general insecurity in the country.
Mr Anicetus Atakpu, Resilience Programmes Coordinator for ActionAid Nigeria, in his opening remarks at the commencement of the training in Okene, said the police officers were drawn from all divisions of the Force in Kogi.
Titled: “Strengthening Community Policing/Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC)”, Atakpu said the project was being executed under the System and Structural Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation To Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project of ActionAid.
He said the training was organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with its local rights partner in Kogi, Participation Initiative For Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID), the Command of the Nigeria Police in the state and funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
He said that the programme was part of the capacity building initiative and strengthening of referral pathways from community level to the state toward ending radicalisation and violent extremism.
The programmes coordinator also said that the training was meant to broaden the scope of police officers and enhance their understanding of community policing and support for established Community Action and Response Team (CART) in detecting and addressing early warning signs of conflict before they escalated.
“Just last week the governor of Kogi inaugurated the committee on community policing which will be replicated at the Local Government and Ward levels.
Williams Aya DSP, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kogi State Command, in his paper presentation titled: “Introduction To The Concept of Community Policing”, said that community policing would further help to reduce crime and criminality in the society.
Aya said that Community Policing was founded on the principle that in a democratic society, the police were entrusted by their fellow citizens to protect and enforce the peoples’ Fundamental Rights to liberty, equality and justice under the law.
Mr Olugbenga Ajayeoba, a Public Affairs Analyst and Political Commentator, in his paper, “Rational for Adopting Community Policing in Nigeria”, identified trust and confidence gap between the Police and communities as militating against crime fighting.
He said that the most immediate prompting for embracing the concept of community policing was the recent upsurge in violent crimes and acts of criminality across the country in recent times.
Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID, said effective community policing would also help to check issues of violence against women, rampant cases of rape, child molestation, other forms of abuse and crimes against women.