By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Operatives of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps are capable of providing the needed assistance to nip in the bud the prevalence cases of kidnapping in Epe area of Lagos if provided adequate information, Chairman of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Agency (LNSA), Mr Israel Ajao has assured.
Ajao, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, made the assertion at the weekend the Epe Division Stakeholders Seminar with the theme: ‘Neighborhood Safety as a Strategy for Effective Crime Control in Lagos State’.
The LSNA boss, who was once a Commissioner of Police in the state, said the Neighborhood Safety Agency was set up by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to complement the efforts of the police in checking crime.
“We have 100 safety corps officers in all local councils, but this is also not enough, as no security outfit can function effectively without adequate information.
“Our reason for coming here today is to thank you for your support and also tell you that we are not getting adequate information from you.
“We know it is not easy to accommodate strangers in your community, but we want to commend you all, including traditional rulers, community leaders, Community Development Associations, Community Development Committees and market women for your cooperation.
“Here in Epe, we have kidnap challenges, and if we are provided with adequate information, we can nip this in the bud. When you see strange faces in your community, let us know,” Ajao said.
The chairman said that members of the public should not lose sleep over the fact that the Neighborhood Safety Corps were inadequate, as there were other officers that do not appear in uniform, but gathered intelligence which is shared with the police to nip crime in the bud.
The Epe Division Representative, LNSA, Otunba Sakirudeen Anifowose, said that the essence of the seminar was to get the people involved in the process by which they are being provided with security.
“We are here to show you what we have been doing for the last two years and also seek your support to safeguard you better. What we require from you is information. When you see something, say something,” he said.
ASP Kenneth Emegwamor, from Police Training School, Ikeja, who gave a talk on ‘Effective Crime Control in Lagos State through Community Partnership’ emphasised the need for Community Safety Partnership as the only way to fight crime.
“Security concerns vary according to each community. Our responsibility is to identify these challenges and see how we can solve them with the involvement of community leaders and security agents.
“Synergy is key in Community Safety Partnership. Security agencies also need to synergise to gain the confidence of members of the public.
It is when this confidence is built that security challenges can be discussed.
“In every community, there are bad elements; it is when these elements are ignored that criminal activities begin to trend. We should join hands to expose the bad elements among us and make them know that the community is not safe for them.
“For a standard and strong community Safety Partnership, we need security safety audit, working group, action plans, implementation process and review of all decisions on security,” he said.