- Former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has said that 57 years after independence, the nation was yet to develop a national internal security policy that would recognise, strengthen and adopt community policing as an internal security model in the fight against crime and maintenance of law and order.
Arase said such a policy should have defined the principles of policing and pathways to strengthening public trust and partnership between the police and the citizens.
He stressed that one of the major factors that has sustained lack of trust between the police and the citizens has been the inability to introduce reforms needed for the reorientation of the police force inherited from the colonial masters.
The former Inspector General of Police (IG) spoke at a think tank conference on policing the Nigerian federation, organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) with the theme “towards integrating community policing in Nigeria’s security architecture: models, policy options and strategies.
While he noted that community policing is historically the rock upon which policing and internal security management rests, he said there was the need to give sustainable effect to the model within the Nigeria security space.
According to him, the needed national policy framework will define pathways for the attainment of community policing initiatives, define specific roles of all strategic community actors as well as law enforcement community component and also clearly define the interrelationships and obligations of each of the actors.
He said “police legitimacy draws from public consent and trust and lack of effective partnership between the police and the public can only sustain ineffective policing and insecurity among citizens,” adding that community policing which demands effective police public partnership and trust in crime prevention is the best form of policing.
The former IG said further that “even among police personnel themselves, a research carried out in 14 states discovered that if community policing strategy is adopted, it could assist to eradicate most of the challenges attributed to the traditional reactive police culture.
“There is no debate about the efficacy of community policing model of internal security management. Community policing has been in practice in local communities in Nigeria long before colonial period.”