The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Solomon Arase has given express warning to Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja to immediately stop mounting road checkpoints, urging them to intensify efforts on regular supervision and monitoring of the check-points to arrest officers mounting them.
The IGP gave the warning in Ilorin, Kwara State capital where he addressed officers and men of the state police command during an official visit to the command headquarters in Ilorin.
Mr. Solomon Arase however said road checkpoints could be unavoidable in some cases, adding that policemen could mount check points to detect and arrest car thieves in some locations when vehicles are stolen.
“I believe that you cannot police a community unless you are connected to the community. Community partnership in policing is very key. I will expect all DPOs, all area commanders and even the commissioners of police to once in a while assemble all the stakeholders in the state. What we expect you to do is to be able to drag in members of the public to assist you in very good information that will help in your investigations”.
“We will expect the DPOs to organize at least, once in a month town hall meeting with strategic stakeholders and win the hearts and minds of the people. If you continue to violate their rights then they will not support you.”
“The issue we are facing in this country is the poor public perception of police by members about the force. They believe that the police are bad and corrupt but none of them can do without the force”.
“So since they cannot do without the force, we have to respect their rights and ensure that their rights are not violated when dealing with them. The more we win their hearts and minds, the more they have confidence in us. We cancelled the roadblocks and replaced them with the Safer Highways because we did not want you to start having problems with members of the public at the checkpoints. Most of those checkpoints were not actually crime prevention strategies robust enough for you people to do what you are supposed to do”.