Juliet Ezeh, Abuja
The Police on Tuesday said that they recovered 1,181 firearms of various descriptions and calibre, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rocket launchers in seven months.
Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) disclosed this in Abuja during a conference organised by the Force Headquarters for senior police officers in the country.
He said that 4,187 high profile suspects were arrested nationwide, including 1,629 armed robbery suspects, 1,053 suspected kidnappers, 1,023 cultists and 482 murder suspects with the period.
Adamu said that 389 stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminal elements, with 506 kidnapped victims safely recued within the period under review.
According to him, 300 of the victims were secured in Zamfara alone with 249 of the number rescued between July 9 and 23 from bandits and militias operating in the forests in and around the state.
He said that the foregoing achievements were indicative of the fact that the trust gap between the Police and the citizens had been narrowed.
The IGP said that the communities had demonstrated impressive commitment towards partnering with the Police in presenting a common front against criminal elements.
He said that the achievement was also suggestive of the fact that the institutional capability of the Police to undertake specialised operations, take the anti-crime war to the camps and other safe havens of high-profile criminals.
The achievements are also indicative of the effectiveness of the Operation Puff Adder and other strategies emplaced by the Nigeria Police to address prevalent crimes in the country. To sustain these gains, we have commenced the process of implementing the Community Policing concept which involves the engagement of citizens in identifying and prioritizing prevalent communal security threats.
The idea is to bring communities to work together with the police towards developing and implementing solutions to the identified threats,” he said. He said the police was drawing on the Provisions of the Police Act in relation to the recruitment and utilisation of Special Constables that would be engaged as Community Policing Officers (CPOs). The IGP said that the CPOs would be under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture. The breakdown of the Community Policing deployment plan covers the recruitment of a total of 40,000 CPOs across the country in the interim.
The CPOs will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside and average of fifty 50 CPOs are to be engaged in each of the 774 Local Government Areas. In addition, 1,300 CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies like the academics, Road Transport Unions, Artisans, Traders Associations, Religious Bodies, Women Unions, and Youth Organisations to ensure diverse representation,” he added.
He said that the CPOs would be deployed to complement the police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties.
Adamu said that the CPOs would also act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.