Why Nigeria needs community policing — Ex-IGP Arase

Former IGP, Solomon Arase

A former Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase, has said that since Nigeria got her independence, the country is yet to have a proper policy for national internal security in place.

He said this policy is meant to identify, reinforce and accept community policing as an internal security model in the fight against crime and upkeep of law and order.

Mr. Arase made this known on Friday at a conference on policing the Nigerian federation, organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, tagged “towards integrating community policing in Nigeria’s security architecture: models, policy options and strategies.”

According to the Nation newspaper, Mr. Arase argued that community policing is historically the rock upon which policing and internal security management rests.

The former IGP said such a community policing policy should have distinct principles of policing and pathways to strengthening public trust and partnership between the police and the citizens.
He said that the inability of the force to introduce reforms needed for the reorientation of the police psyche inherited from the colonial masters is a major factor that causes lack of trust between the police and citizens.

“There is the need to give sustainable effect to the model within the Nigeria security space,” he added.

He said that the needed national policy agenda ”will define corridors for the accomplishment of community policing initiatives.”

”It will also describe specific roles of all strategic community actors as well as law enforcement community component and undoubtedly define the interrelationships and obligations of each of the thespians.

“Police legitimacy draws from public consent and trust and lack of effective partnership between the police and the public can only sustain ineffective policing and insecurity among citizens,” he said.

“Community policing which demands effective police public partnership and trust in crime prevention is the best form of policing.

“Even among police personnel themselves, a research carried out in 14 states discovered that if community policing strategy is adopted, it could assist to eradicate most of the challenges attributed to the traditional reactive police culture,” Mr. Arase said.

“There is no debate about the efficacy of community policing model of internal security management. Community policing has been in practice in local communities in Nigeria long before colonial period,” he added.

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