Lagos Lawmakers, Constituents Brainstorm on Community Policing

 

By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
 
A lawmaker representing Alimosho Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Bisi Yusuf has called on his constituents to collaborate with government in its efforts to effectively police communities in the area.

The lawmaker made the call at a constituency stakeholders meeting on community policing on Wednesday in Lagos.
The meeting, with the theme “Community /Neighbourhood Policing Starts With You“ held simultaneously in all the state`s 40 constituencies to raise awareness on grassroots security.
He said the efforts of the state government and security agencies at providing adequate security in the area would amount to nought without the support of residents.

“When we talk about security, we are not talking about government, security agencies alone; we are talking about you and me, we are talking about everybody.

“Security is everybody`s business because crimes are planned and committed in communities and criminals live among us.

“So, the government, security agencies and residents have a responsibility here. While the government and security agencies are doing their own, the residents too must play their own part.

“It is when we support the efforts of these authorities that our communities can be free of criminals and we can all be safe,“ he said.

Yusuf urged residents to always report suspicious movements and activities in their neighbourhoods to the appropriate authorities for prompt action.

The lawmaker said the continuous provision of patrol vans and other security equipment by government was part of efforts to sharpen the response of security agencies to crime.

He said the government was making efforts at strengthening security at border communities of Ijon, Kande, Ishefun and Ayobo to check rising cases of cross-border crimes.

Yusuf explained that the simultaneous stakeholders` meeting across constituencies was at the instance of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and that it was proof of the importance the House placed on security.

He said the meeting was organised annually to get feedback on security from the various constituencies for better intervention.

Earlier, Mr Adebayo Alaye, Chairman, Community Development Asscociation, Agbado –Oke Odo, commended the state government for the provision of equipment to enhance the capacities of the police.

He said the association would continue to sensitise residents on the need to work with the police to provide security in the area.

Also, Mr Abraham Onifade, Chairman, Motorcycles Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS), said motorcyclists were very strategic to community policing in view of the nature of their business.
He urged government and residents not to ignore motorcyclists in their efforts to effectively police communities as “we know everywhere and everybody“.

Mr Wale Abdul-Rasheed, President, National Youth Council, Alimosho, urged the government to provide more equipment to the police to enable them to function more effectively.

He said there was the need to engage more youths on community policing because they were at a vantage position to expose crimes in their various communities.

“We are youths, we have more time. Most crimes are perpetrated by youths and we are in a better position to expose criminals because they live among us,“ he said.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ipaja Police Station, CSP O. Busari, urged residents to see policemen as their friends and partners.
He appealed to them to always volunteer information that could be useful to apprehending criminals and nipping crimes in the bud.
Stakeholders at Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 1 also said it had become imperative to involve communities in the policing of their environment to reduce the crime rate.
The Baale of Sogunle, Alhaji Rafiu Ajisegiri, said, “The community leaders have been left out of implementation of security policies for long in the state.
“Issues of security should not be taken for granted in the state. So, with this step of involving neighbourhood in policing, security threats will drastically reduce.”
Ajisegiri said that residents were the best police for an area because they lived there and knew the terrain.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Elders Council in Oshodi-Isolo, Chief Samuel Showunmi, described community policing as the way forward to enhance security.
“This (community policing) has become paramount in today’s security realities. It should be taken seriously by not only the state government, but also by the residents.
“A strategic security platform should be established by government to address insecurity in each constituency,” Sowunmi said.
In his remark, Mr Olusola Sokunle, the lawmaker, representing the constituency, said that the state Assembly had enacted a law in that respect.
“The two recent laws which were made by the Assembly ‘Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps Law 2016’ and ‘Lagos State Property Protection Law 2016’ are direct response to address the security challenges in the state.
“They were legislations that have come to demonstrate the responsiveness and sensitivity of the Assembly as an assemblage of people that are passionate about the security of the people they represent.
“Community policing should be resuscitated to help make our environment more secured,” the lawmaker said.
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