Mohammed Adamu, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), gave a breakdown of how the newly approved N13 billion community policing fund would be spent.
Speaking during a briefing by Police Affairs Minister Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi on his stewardship/one year anniversary of the re-establishment of the ministry, Adamu said the fund would be spent on training, sensitization and purchase of equipment.
He, however, warned vigilante and neighborhood watch groups against using the community policing programme to get involved in illegal possession of arms.
“Community policing is a strategy. It is not a new police structure that is being created but within the police we re-strategise and then bring in community based initiatives,” said the IGP.
“The idea and what we are implementing is that the community should take responsibility for policing. The implementation has gone far. So far we have inaugurated state community policing advisory committees in all the states. And that advisory committee comprises the community leaders, representatives of faith based organizations, representatives of market women, representatives of national union of transport workers, students etc.
“At the local government level we also have the same strategy represented by the same group of community leaders. At the local government level again we have community policing committee which will have the same people from the ward and villages. This committee is the one that would help us identify within the wards and the villages their own citizens and natives who are able bodied. We would select them and train them as community policing officers and send them back to their communities where they come from. We have reached this stage already. Now we are at the stage of recruitment.”
According to Adamu, the community policing committees would be the ones to receive reports of challenges and problems of crime within the communities through the community police officers.
“They would deliberate on these problems and see how they can solve the problem without necessarily bringing it to the DPO because it is a community based initiative to deal with community issues,” he added.
On the released fund, the IGP further explained, “The money is for implementation of the project. It is a process. We have started it in terms of we are going to do town hall sensitization. We are also doing training for the community police officers. We are going to buy all the equipment that is needed and then the process goes on this year, next year until everything is established.”