(News Investigators) Governors of the South South states have declared their support for community policing, stating that it was the panacea for persisting security challenges in the country.
The governors made their position known at a one-day South-South Nigeria Police Regional Security Summit in Asaba, with the theme “Strategic Partnership for Effective Community Policing in the South-South Zone’’.
This is even as Police authorities led by IGP Abubakar Adamu also posited that after due consideration of current security threats, especially kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, arms proliferation, child theft, attacks by herdsmen and sea piracy in the country, adoption of community policing approach would help in checking the challenges.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the summit and signed by the IGP as well as the governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers and Delta, they held that involving the grassroots into policing across the country was commendable.
According to the document read by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, participants urged the IGP to design training pattern for vigilantes and neighbourhood watchers to bridge the personnel gap in the Police Force.
According to them, the ad-hoc security operatives should be suitably equipped and funded and their operations should be subject to direct supervision and control by the Police.
“Moreover, the IGP should take further proactive steps to facilitate an appropriate legal framework to enhance the operations of the vigilante groups and similar bodies,’’ the communiqué added.
The participants expressed concern over declining family values, saying that many crimes were traceable to negative peer group influence, substance abuse and the absence of moral discipline, all of which could be mitigated by good parenting and effective teaching and learning in schools.
They, therefore, charged stakeholders to undertake strong advocacy for the sustenance of family values and functional education capable of promoting self-employment for youths.
They also urged state governments in the zone to “pursue job and wealth creation as a high priority as unemployment among youths is one of the disposing factors to criminality’’.