The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, CP Kayode Egbetokun, has assured the state of the command’s commitment towards ideals of modern policing system, such that would ensure adequate protection of lives and property in Kwara.
Egbetokun stated that, in achieving the modern policing system, entire Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Area Commanders in the state have been charged to embrace philosophy of community oriented policing, with expectation of other officers to adapt new levels of transparency and professionalism that could build trust and inspire public confidence in the police.
While addressing officers at the state’s command recently, the CP disclosed that himself and his men were committed to ideals of modern policing, such that its methodology is community based, intelligence led and technology driven.
He hinted that, base on the commitment, the command’s intelligence unit was revitalised to provide credible intelligence so as to enhance quality of decisions with respect to operations.
Recounting on a recent communal clashes in Moro and Oke ero Local Governments Areas in the state that claimed eight lives while properties worth million of Naira were destroyed, Egbetokun noted that timely intervention by the command had impact in arresting and calming situation within the axis
“Consequently, all DPOs have been directed to start holding monthly peace and security meetings with all stake holders in their local communities. This is aimed at promoting peace and enhance the security of the local communities. It is also mandatory for DPOs to establish and maintain robust collaboration with sister agencies within their areas”.
Besides, Egbetokun, whose attention was recently drawn to police extortion on the state’s highways, cleared that it was unethical for officers to seize or search unsuspecting members of the public mobile phones on road.
He explained that while police have responsibility to conduct stop and search, the practice of searching phone of an individual on road, for evidence of internet fraud, amounts to conducting roadside investigation, and also becomes a criminal offence should such unethical conduct ended in extortion or done with intent to extort.
“Some policemen on patrol, not all, have been reported to be stopping young men on the road and searching their phones on suspicion that they are internet fraudsters called “yahoo yahoo boys”.
“In some cases the young men, mostly University undergraduates are made to part with as little or as much as N2,000.00 for their release or release of their phones. The command frowns at this ugly trend. and will stop at nothing in identifying and dealing with the culprits accordingly”, he said.
Egbetokun, however, informed that policemen under the state’s command, particularly those on patrol , have been warned to desist from acts of criminal extortion, adding that, extortion by police while bearing fire arms is consider as armed robbery .
According to him, any policeman found engaging in any form of extortion while armed on the highways will be arrested, detained tried and if found guilty dismissed and charged with armed robbery.
“Members of the public are advised to report any case of police extortion directly to my office through 09033871133, 07015338157, 08070734277”.
“The police will serve the community better if there is collaboration. The gap between the police and the community is often exploited by criminals to the disadvantage of citizens. Criminals hardly operate where the Police and the community collaborate.
“I appeal to all stake holders and indeed all law abiding citizens and residents to give full cooperation to the police in their localities for the police to serve them better”, he urged.