COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AFTER A 2-DAY TRAINING OF POLICE OFFICERS ON COMMUNITY POLICING ORGANIZED BY ACTIONAID NIGERA AND PIBCID IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE, KOGI STATE COMMAND.
ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Kogi state command, held a two-day training twenty-seven (27) police officers selected various division in Kogi State on community policing. The training was aimed at strengthening police community policing architecture in the State in line with the objectives of the “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Phase II Project.
The SARVE II project is implemented to build community resilience in preventing violent extremism through the establishment and strengthening of the Community Action and Response Teams (CARTs): a community watch group aimed at addressing issues of early warning and early response in various community while promoting communal social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
At the end of the training it was observed that:
- The concept of community policing is a philosophy of policing practice and organizational strategy of policing to ensure and enhance the security and safety of citizens and communities in a participatory and inclusive citizen led manner.
- From a critical review of the strategic document guiding community policing initiative regardless of the current drive on community policing in Nigeria and although the current constitutional and legislative framework permit, embrace and allow the reorientation of the police and policing on a community policing strategy, however there is inadequate legal frame work to enhance and compel the implementation of the concept in order to ensure the sustainability of the current drive towards achieving community policing in Nigeria.
- The strategic document on community policing lacks explicit legislative and legal framework to underpin its operationalization by virtue of the provisions of section 214 of the 1999 constitution as amended
- There is a continuing and widespread lack of awareness and enlightenment on the strategic approach and organizational philosophy of Community policing among the rank and file and officer ranks of the police and other law enforcement agencies who undertake some aspects of policing as a part of their legal mandate.
- There is a continuing and widespread lack of awareness and enlightenment on the strategic approach and organizational philosophy of Community policing among citizens, communities, and the public at large.
- Members of the community policing committees being from different backgrounds, may have different levels of understanding and status, which may impair the cohesion of the committees and impede their ability to act decisively and effectively.
- There is an urgent need for explicit legal framework on community policing in Nigeria therefore the need for an amendment of section 214 of the 1999 constitution as amended, as well as the Nigeria Police Act to include provisions on express description of the goal of the police and policing as that of strategic orientation on community policing as the basis of policing among others.
- There is the need for continuous and sustained community sensitization through stakeholder’s engagement, education and capacity building anchored on a structured mechanism for implementation.
- There is the need to urgently finalize the development and publicize clear terms of reference for the various community policing committees being inaugurated across states based on directives of the inspector general of police on implementation of the community policing strategic direction of the Nigeria Police.
- There is a need for a mechanism to be established for the proper undertaking of proper scrutiny and vetting of the character and personality of the members selected for inclusion in the community policing committees so as not to pick people with questionable characters into such noble committee
- All state police commands should as a matter of urgency establish a mechanism for carrying out capacity building, sensitization and mentoring of community policing committee members being set up across states and wards
Overall, reorientation of the Nigeria Police for improved community policing is a welcomed strategic approach to peacebuilding. The steps already taken towards the realization and operationalization of the new strategy including the development of a national policy framework, and the enunciation of an implementation strategy is also to be commended. However, it is important to understand that concerted effort is still needed to overcome the inherent organizational, individual, environmental, funding and practice culture challenges that exist and may emerge in the course of implementing the new policing strategy.
This communique was jointly endorsed by stakeholders’ present.
Lola Ayanda - Communications Coordinator | ActionAid Nigeria
Nihinlola.email@example.com | +2348099101428
Anicetus Atakpu | Resilience Programme & Consortium Coordinator | ActionAid Nigeria
Anicetus.Atakpu@actionaid.org | +2348069066612