Friday 1 June 2012

Community policing to tackle security challenges

Vigilante groups undergo training
Community policing has been described as imperative to tackle security challenges in the country.
Security experts made this known at the completion of an inaugural training programme for Voluntary Police Service, popularly called Vigilante policing.
Organised by Justice for All, a criminal justice reform organisation, in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) a UK-based agency, the six-month programme kick-started at Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The first beneficiaries of the programme were vigilante groups from the Isokoko area of Agege, who underwent training in modern security techniques to employ in their locality.
The participants included members from Gbogunleri Isale–Oja, Asade, Adeyemi and Ajengunle vigilante groups in the area.
Some of the tips shared with the group members included how to detect crime and support the police in checking criminality in their areas.
Innocent Chukwuma, the Lead Consultant of Justice for All, described the roles of vigilante groups in communities as "vital and unique in checking crime and criminality."
“One of the objectives of this project is to ensure that the Voluntary police service, also known as vigilante group, are accountable to the people and for the community to also hold them accountable," he said.
Chukwuma also said that the reach of vigilante groups goes beyond that of the police due to their closeness to the people.
"They have been taught their limitations and how to uphold human rights in the course of their work," he added.
According to the organisers, the project to train vigilante groups  will also be replicated in other local government councils and states in the country.
Omodele Moruf , the president of Gbogunleri vigilante group, said members of his group can work better with the new tools provided for them during the training programme.
“We have been doing better and we will do more, since our efforts have been recognised. We want the federal and state government to also support us so that we can check crime at the local level,” he said.
Toyin Balogun, the Community Development Committee Chairman, also lauded the training programme for the impact it has had on security in the local government council.


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