The rising insecurity in Nigeria has brought to the fore the centralization of policing in the country with many pushing for decentralization of the force to ensure that states establish, maintain and control their police formations. The common notion is that residents within a community know each other and are better able monitor criminality within their vicinity; more so, state policing will enable the states to effectively maintain law and order, especially during emergencies. BARBARA NEGBEJIE explores views on state policing. Excerpts.
Every state should put up its own security outfit or organization to curb increasing crime
Aside the political use of it, it is very necessary for Nigeria to have State Police. Every state should put up its own security outfit or organization to curb the increasing menace of kidnapping, maiming, raping of women and children. So much evil has beclouded the reasoning of these herdsmen taking over our villages. Everything has been politicized and the current Police officers are not being trained, neither are current equipment bought to combat these crimes. So I humbly submit and subscribe to state police in Nigeria.
State Police is more appropriate in Nigeria now
The establishment of state Police is more appropriate in Nigeria now than any other time to address the inadequate manpower of the federal police. The state policing will be equivalent to Community policing in the UK and US. The state Police Officers are locals who understand the local terrain and nip crimes in the bud. It is an essential plank of federalism
It will bring about grassroots policing of the state by the indigenes
Yes, I support state policing to put to an end the intimidation of citizens from the federal level. State police will know and be able to identify people with questionable characters easily for prosecution. We will be able to some extent be sure that we are not recruiting a terrorist or ethnic extremist into the police force unknowingly. The Governor of the state can be able to monitor the activities of the police without being biased or influenced by the federal executive. It will bring about grassroots policing of the state by the indigenes.
State policing is not the right approach to solving security challenges
The clamour for state policing is not the right approach to solving security challenges facing us as a people and a nation. I think our focus should be on community policing. Let us model our policing system at the local and community level. We need to adopt the American model, where the Mayor has control over the police department. One way out of the present arrangement is for us to ensure Heads of Police Divisions are from the Community, an advantage of knowing the community inside out. This should apply to Area Commands as well. The recruitment and posting of rank and file should be localised and domesticated in areas of one’s origin or domiciliary for a minimum of 20 years.