Kidnappings: Nigeria needs proactive approach to crime prevention — HURIWA

Posted by News Express | 4 January 2021 | 646 times

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•HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Onwubiko


A call has gone to the hierarchy of the nation’s policing institution to get serious and be committed to its professional development by evolving much more robust proactive crime prevention methodology. This is in contrast to the time discredited and widely unworkable crime fighting tactics that would wait for a heinous crime to be committed before going after the suspected criminals.

Speaking against the backdrop of the ‘rescue’ by the police of the kidnapped Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese Rt Revd Moses Chikwe, the rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said although it was commendable that the cleric was rescued unhurt, the Nigeria Police Force should finetune its operational strategies to bring them in tandem with the global best practices and to meet the policing thresholds of the 21st century world. 

“The Nigeria Police Force should invest substantially in building up intelligence gathering capacities of their officers and operatives and must partner closely with citizens and community leaders to be able to work in a symbiotic relationship that will enhance proactive approach to crime fighting and prevention.

“The State and Local Government Area Councils and institutions both public and private and individuals of substantial means, must collaborate actively to introduce technologies for crime prevention such as the Closed Circuits Televisions (CCTVs) and the deployment of drones. The telecommunications networks needs to collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to quickly enable the citizens to feed in useful information on movements of suspected persons in their communities in such a way that the identities of the callers cannot be traced to avoid retaliation from the suspected terrorists or kidnappers,” HURIWA said in the statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf.

HURIWA recalled that the the Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Mose Chikwe, and some other kidnapped victims have were rescued without ransom as claimed by the Imo State Police command.

HURIWA advocated the adoption of proactive approach to crime fighting and prevention because: “experts and criminologists say that proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States.”

The rights group explained that “it developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism regarding the effectiveness of standard approaches to policing.

“In response, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, innovative police practices and policies that took a more proactive approach began to develop. This report uses the term 'proactive policing’ to refer to all policing strategies that have as one of their goals the prevention or reduction of crime and disorder and that are not reactive in terms of focusing primarily on uncovering ongoing crime or on investigating or responding to crimes once they have occurred. Specifically, the elements of proactivity include an emphasis on prevention, mobilizing resources based on police initiative, and targeting the broader underlying forces at work that may be driving crime and disorder.

“This contrasts with the standard model of policing, which involves an emphasis on reacting to particular crime events after they have occurred, mobilizing resources based on requests coming from outside the police organization, and focusing on the particulars of a given criminal incident.

“Proactive policing is distinguished from the everyday decisions of police officers to be proactive in specific situations and instead refers to a strategic decision by police agencies to use proactive police responses in a programmatic way to reduce crime.

“Today, proactive policing strategies are used widely in the United States. They are not isolated programs used by a select group of agencies but rather a set of ideas that have spread across the landscape of policing. HURIWA is urging the Nigeria Police Force to embrace this methodology just as we are calling for the introduction of technologies to wage an all-out war against armed criminals and terrorists in Nigeria,” HURIWA said in the statement.

Source: News Express

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