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WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, IGP IBRAHIM K. IDRIS NPM, mni, AT THE PUBLIC LAUNCH  OF THE COMMUNITY POLICING RE-ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIC GUIDELINES AND THE UNVEILING OF THE COMMUNITY POLICING LOGO AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ABUJA, ON 15TH SEPTEMEBR, 2017

PROTOCOL

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to today’s event, the re-launch ceremony of the Nigerian Community Policing Program. Community policing was initially introduced in Nigeria on the 27th of April 2004, when the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo launched it in Enugu state. The pilot phase of the program was aimed at establishing a clear departure from traditional policing, that was reactive and incident based, to a problem – solving oriented policing that is proactive with the community as the cornerstone of policing objectives. It is on this premise that the Nigeria Police Force has made the decision to review and develop a more inclusive strategic guidelines taking into consideration lessons learned from its pilot phase.

2.    The country is currently grappling with some security challenges evidenced in the escalation of violent conflicts and crimes. From herdsmen-farmers clashes, insurgency in North-East, resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta and kidnapping for ransom, it is obvious that there is a need for a strategic policing approach. So far, we have been successful to some extent in reducing these threats, but with the re-launch of this all encompassing community policing strategy, we shall develop a better interactive relationship that will lead to improved support and cooperation from our various stakeholders.

3.    Past efforts have been made to reform and reposition the Nigeria Police force for enhanced efficiency and professionalism by various Presidential Committees. The last of such committees was set up in 2012 and it was tasked with the responsibility of determining the general and specific causes of the collapse of public confidence in the Police, and recommend ways of restoring public trust in the institution amongst others. One of the reforms outlined to address this was the need for community policing to be mainstreamed and fully adopted by the Nigeria Police Force. This was further emphasized by the recently issued Presidential directive for a nationwide rollout of community policing across the country.

4.    The Force is not oblivious to the public perception of its activities, and the unwillingness of citizens’ to make use of the formal criminal justice system. To change people’s experience and the perception of the Force for the better, the program will build sustainable partnerships with local communities, authorities and agencies such as civil society, informal security actors, and educational authorities amongst others. This is necessary for a wider partnership approach to solving community problems where the combined skills, expertise and resources of the partnership as a whole can be utilized to positive effect. We understand that the response to crime and reduction of disorder will not be effective unless it is based on robust analysis of the underlying problems and their causes, allowing for the recognition of links, patterns and trends specific to each community.

5.    The program will work with various community police interactive platforms or initiatives such as the Eminent Persons Forum, which is an initiative currently being employed by the police. These platforms allow opinion leaders from various communities to collaborate with the Police, and contribute to issues relating to the Police and policing in their communities. 

6.    Under the re-engagement plan, access to the Police will be accentuated through the deployment of ICT tools / mechanism including social media platforms and building robust relationship with community grassroots.

7.    We believe that proactive approach to policing will assist to reduce crime and anti-social behavior. The community will be encouraged and provided the opportunity to actively participate in its own policing; and when we work together we will be able to mobilize resources to solve problems affecting public safety for the longer term.

8.    As one of the major steps in this direction, we are setting up the Community Policing Management Committee made up of professionals that would work closely with me and my management team to monitor this roll out plan. Members of the Committee are:

CP Community Policing representing IGP

Professor Olu Ogunsakin

Mrs Kemi Okenyodo

Lt. Col. U.F Abubakar

Representative of Ministry of Justice

Mrs Ovibiagele A. Efelomon

Mr Adeniran Akingbolahan

9.    On behalf of my Officers and Men, I hereby use this medium to seek for the cooperation and collaboration of everyone most especially citizens and friends of Nigeria, sister agencies to join hands with us to ensure that this program succeeds.

10.  Thank you and God bless you all

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