The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has kicked off the implementation of the State Community Policing initiative aimed at reducing crime in communities and deepen trust between the public and law enforcement agencies.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, made the disclosure while inaugurating the 16-member State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) for FCT, on Monday in Abuja.
Bello said that community policing worldwide had proved to be effective in curbing crime by making the police and community members work together in the prevention and solving of crimes.
He expressed optimism that with the Presidential approval granted for community oriented policing across the nation, Nigeria will begin to witness reduction in crime rate.
Bello, therefore, enjoined members of the committee to take the assignment very seriously and give it the utmost attention it deserved.
He also urged them to be nonpartisan in all their decisions and recommendations as well as be guided by the principles of natural justice and laws of the land.
He noted that community policing was a strategy that was anchored on trust between the people and the security officers.
“Once there is a trust deficit in any guise or form, the workability of this policy becomes highly diminished and we will have lost a great opportunity in improving the security profile of the territory.
“It is necessary that selection into the Special Constabulary is fair and just with proper screening.
“Those selected should also be provided with basic training needed for the job. There should also be a robust feedback and monitoring mechanism for the performance of those appointed to carry out tasks within the communities.
“There should also be confidentiality of investigation and protection of informants,” Bello said.
Responding, Bala Ciroma, Chairman of the 16-member policing advisory committee and the FCT Commissioner of Police, promised to deliver on the mandate and to entrench a result-oriented community policing approach in FCT communities.
Ciroma noted that the committee could only deliver on its mandate if FCT residents embrace community policing and provide the necessary support for its success.
On his part, Sen. Philip Aduda, representing FCT, pledged to support full implementation of the initiative across the territory to enhance the security of lives and property.
The lawmaker commended the Inspector General of Police for reviving the community policing system aimed at improving national security.
The members of the committee included, heads of various government security organisations in FCT and respected political, religious, traditional and community leaders.