Inspector-general of police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali yesterday called on state governments to ensure that persons drafted into the community policing system are people with proven character and integrity.
He said the federal government has adopted community policing to check crime and criminality, a practice he said was obtainable in most parts of the world.
The police boss spoke when he addressed officers and men of the command while on a working and familiarisation tour of the state. He said statistics have shown reduction in the level of crime in some parts of the country compared to what it was when he first assumed office as the inspector general of police.
He said, “I think I can say statistically that what we have in South-South, South-East and even South-West has changed greatly from what we met and in the other parts of the country we are also doing much to improve the situation there.
“If every state is fighting crime like Edo State, most of us will be resting, however, there is room for improvement because if you relax while fighting crime, crime will come back at you in a different form so I urge you to continue.
“You must adhere to the calling of your profession. You must differentiate between professionalism and ordinary policing. Community policing is a model adopted by the federal government and it is that same practice worldwide.
“They are not to be selected by you, they are to be picked by their leaders either traditional, religious, social or otherwise because they know their communities, they know the people. You must screen them, train them for the job.
“They must be told their boundaries, for instance that when they make an arrest, they hand over such persons to the police for prosecution.”
He commended the state government on its efforts to help the police rebuild the Police Training School in Ogida, near Benin City.
On the challenges of kidnapping along the Benin-Auchi-Okene road, Alkali said, “We are trying to see what we can do all over the country, it is not only here, there are places that are even worse than here, we are not saying that is uhuru, we are still saying that there is room for improvement, there is better synergy between us and all the other security agencies in fighting crime and criminality, that is what we are trying to do and that is what we are doing.”
Earlier at the Government House, Governor Godwin Obaseki commended the police for its efforts in the state and for the collaboration between the police and other security agencies in fighting crime in the state.