By Ayobami Abdullahi
The new Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi on Friday sought public support for effective community policing.
The CP who spoke at a Town Hall meeting with Ogba community members said that community policing can only be effective when the people believe in the police and offer their support.
“My mission is to introduce my policing plan and ask for your cooperation in restoring safety back to Lagos and make it the most peaceful state to do business on the continent.
“I believe that my philosophy of policing which is community policing can be achieved with your partnership.
A partnership that involves participation of every stakeholder. Henceforth the people will decide the security structure while the police will only execute.
“Community policing will be adopted because the people know their community more. It is wrong for the police to think they know your community more than you.
” Functional partnership is key to ensure neighbourhoods are safe especially at night. Community policing is both proactive and reactive as it depends largely on intelligence to prevent crime.
“I know some people have given up on the police because of lack of trust, it is my mission to build that trust. Many things have gone wrong but I want you to give us the chance to bring back that trust.” he said.
Imohimi added that Area Commanders and Divisional Policemen had been instructed to support Community Development Associations (CDAs) by holding meetings with them to decide how they want to be policed.
The CP who gave a scenario of how the gate of a community was locked on members who had refused to pay the security levy said that DPOs will support CDAs for such enforcement.
“We will also set up vigilante groups in the Local Governments. They will be active at night between 11pm and 5am and they will work closely with the police to make sure they operate in compliance with the law.
” All vigilante men must however be registered with the police where they will be profiled but they will not be licensed to carry arms.
“We want neighbourhoods to take interest in this. I want no more complaints of robberies. Even though my men cannot cover everywhere, you can help by directing my men to the right direction.
“I appeal to you to have confidence in the police. Though we have our problem but part of it rests with you.
“Some people have made up their minds that nothing good can come from the police. The only thing constant is change and that is what to you, try me and you will witness significant reduction of crime in the state.” he said.