Human rights advocate based in the United Kingdom, Comrade Victor James, yesterday, stressed the need for community policing, saying that it remains the only way to curb the rising case of insecurity in Nigeria.
James, in a strong worded six point agenda made available to journalists in Asaba, noted that the best way to ensure the security of lives and property was to engage the locals in the security of their areas.
He said : “Nigeria needs community policing in each state; you need to engege the locals in the security of their communities because they know every nooks and crannies of their areas better the security operative. And it will be for the best interest of the public, not the politicians.
“ In addition, the office of the Inspector General of Police should emerge via public election to boost political neutrality from the IGs office as well as neutrality from the ruling party.
“ This will facilitate absolute checks and balance in the Executive arm so that the president and other elected officials would not get away with murder and other atrocities.
“ Police commissioners should be elected by citizens of each state and the candidate shouldn’t be a police officers to avoid conflict of interest, abuse of power and biase in overseeing officers of Police Force. This will enable future police commissioners to relate better with citizens of that state and understand best the strategy to identify and curb crime. The candidate can be anyone especially human rights advocate, lawyers or members of civil society organizations.
“‘The salaries of police and other law enforcement agents should be increased with immediate effect so that they will not have excuse for extorting members of the public.
“ Any citizen harassed, harmed or killed should be compensated with 100million Naira. This will be a deterrence strategic approach designed to promote effective policing, and to ensure that officers are well trained and exhibit a high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duty.
“ Criminal records should be obtained from the local community, secondary schools and university of those who wish to join police; as this will show if they were former robbery gang members, members of confraternities, so they don’t go into the police force to influence good officers and kill innocent citizens as we are witnessing today.