By: RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Stakeholders Forum On Police Accountability( SFOPA) has applauded the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Edgal Imohimi over his Accountability policy in policing.
The group posited that the policy has largely accounted for improved public perception of the police in Lagos since his assumption assumption of office.
National Coordinator of Network On Police Reform In Nigeria (NOPRIN) Okechukwu Nwanguma made the submission at the inauguration of the Forum Wednesday in Lagos.
The Forum, formed with the purpose of providing a platform for regular engagement and interacting with the Lagos State Police Command on issues of police Accountability, was inaugurated by CP Edgal Imohimi at the command’s headquarter, Ikeja.
Nwaguma, who spoke on behalf of the Forum, said the gesture is in consistent with and testimony to the CP’s well known disposition towards engagement with Stakeholders and communities.
While reeling out the achievement of the police commissioner, Nwanguma remarked that Edgal has broke new grounds in the area of crime control community engagement, increased police presence in strategic locations across the state.
According to Nwanguma, these and other innovation crime fighting strategies have resulted to drastic reduction of crime in the state.
He noted that the CP has also set records in demonstrating transparent, accountable and responsible policing.
” He has also dedicated hotlines to enable citizens bring complaints about their encounters and experience with police officers. These have helped to instil some measure of discipline and professional disposition among officers in the state, created deterrence for corruption and abuse and increased the public rating of the Lagos State Police among Lagos reside and across the country”, the NIPRON national coordinator further said.
Speaking on the objectives of the Forum, Nwanguma said it is set to stand as a liaison between the police and the communities, with a view to deepening partnership between the police and the communities they serve to improve public safety and security.
Nwanguma informed that the Forum comprises of key civil society groups, including community- based and non- governmental, as well as governmental stakeholders based in Lagos state.
In his response, Edgal charged the Forum not to relent in.partnering with the command in line with the community policing strategy.
Urging the Forum to be very active, the police commissioner implored it to always criticise the command when it is derailing.
Edgal remarked that the 28,000 police personnel in Lagos is not enlightened to police the state, hence the need for effective partnership with Stakeholders.
He asserted that there has been drastic reduction in crime rate in the state since his assumption of office.