Vigilante members in Plateau State can apprehend suspect, they will, however, be required to hand them over to the police.
The Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, Thursday in Jos, empowered vigilante groups in the state to make arrests.
Mr. Olakpe, however, warned them not to manhandle suspects before handing them over to the police for prosecutions.
“Your role is to provide useful information to the police, note that you must be diligent in performing your responsibilities,” the police chief said.
The police chief gave the mandate to the local vigilante at the formal inauguration of Neighborhood Watch team in Plateau State. He said the gesture is in a bid to establish community policing which is aimed at minimizing crime rate.
He said Divisional Police Officers across the state have been mandated to issue identification badges to vigilante members and equally monitor their activities. He said the identification will help prevent foreigners who may want to hijack the groups to cause havoc in the state.
Mr. Olakpe assured the vigilante groups from the 17 local council areas of the state of police cooperation in their efforts to rid the state of crime.
“Nothing should deter you from performing your duties, we are behind you,” the police boss said.
Mr. Olakpe said all chairmen of local government councils have been briefed on the new development.
Representatives of the vigilante from the entire councils of the state were present at the inauguration.
Sale Jibril, the Chairman of the Neighborhood Watch, in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, said his team will put in their best to reduce crime rate in Plateau State.