The new Commissioner of Police for Lagos State Command, Imohimi Edgal, has vowed to reduce crime rate in the state by 30 per cent within two months. Edgal made the vow on Wednesday while addressing journalists at the Police Officers Mess, Ikeja, Lagos.
He stressed that his roadmap was based on a police plan driven, largely, by community policing and partnership. The news police boss promised go to any length, including dinning with the devil, to protect and guarantee the safety of the people in Lagos.
“My strategy will be based on community policing, which will increase the involvement of community members on how they will be policed. “It is all about partnership, decision-making and accountability, partnership will, however, form the core. “My mission is to make Lagos the safest place for people to do business; to restore the pride of police and bequeath to the people a friendly police. “Also, community safety partnership is an aspect that emphasises synergy with other security agencies and civil groups,” he said.
Edgal said that the command had established pin down points across the state as first point of contact for the people, when in distress. “I have established police observation/pin down points in the state to serve as first point of contact when in distress. “Patrol vehicles will concentrate on major highways during peak periods and on residential areas at night.” He emphasised that he was ready to work with other security agencies, including registered vigilante groups.
“I will also partner closely with the informal policing sector, like vigilante groups that aid police in ensuring security and peace in the inner communities of the state. “The issue of functional partnership will be taken very serious as legal and operational guidelines for vigilante will be established. “The vigilante is important but before any group can metamorphose, such group must report to the Divisional Police Headquarters where they will be registered, profiled and scrutinised. “None will, however, be accepted if found to be having a criminal case, a drunkard or with any form of deviant behaviour. “They will be documented and submitted to the Area Commander for final scrutiny. If the Area Commander confirms and I approve, they will be able to work closely with the police. “None of them will, however, be allowed to carry arms. ‘’This is because, they are not legalised to do so. They will be used primarily for intelligence networking. “We will improve intelligence gathering. Henceforth, any intelligence leading to arrest will be rewarded and the identity of the informer protected.”
Edgal said a platform, named Citizens Complaints Hot Centre (CCHC), will be activated at 6 p. m. on Wednesdays to handle complaints from members of the public. He also said the former Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism Section had been unbundled, adding that a new section would operate independently from the command and headed by policemen with integrity. Edgal, who noted that there was connection between crimes drugs, vowed to clamp down on drug traffickers by collaborating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). He commended journalists in the state for a job well done and urged them for more support, saying that no commissioner of police could succeed without media support.
The new police commissioner, however, advised the media against stories capable of causing panic to the public, stressing that exposing the activities of criminals would enhance better security.