The Police And Crime Statistics

The Police And Crime Statistics

The Police And Crime Statistics

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Recently, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, at a strategic meeting with Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, AIGs and state Command Police Commissioners at Force headquarters, said the police had in the last eight weeks, recorded 537 murder cases.

The IGP who described the trend as worrying, also said the police recorded 141 cases of terrorism/secessionist attacks; 26 cases of armed robbery; 214 cases of kidnapping, and 39 incidences of unlawful possession of firearms. Nigerians ought to be genuinely concerned.

As a newspaper, we consider the amount of blood being shed in the country as extremely disconcerting. Even more disturbing is the fact that the measures in place to check this unfortunate trend are, at best, weak and insufficient.

As the IGP stated, policing in Nigeria is an endeavour fraught with complexities and obstacles, ranging from insurgent activities and armed banditry to varying other criminal syndicates and communal clashes.
Egbetokun added that 3,685 suspects were apprehended for their participation in various crimes, while 401 kidnap victims were rescued.

With the increasing intensity of the economic downturn and, in a bid to survive at all cost, unpatriotic citizens are resorting to crime raising it to a level of an industry.

A lot has been said about the nation’s security challenges and it is beginning to seem as if the more the people cry, the more they are left unprotected by the state, from the whims and caprices of kidnappers, bandits, terrorists and other criminalities.

Sadly in our view, the responses of national and sub-national governments to criminalities are still the same old predictable, ineffectual platitudes.

At every incident, the federal and state governments always claim to be on top of the situation with marching orders given to the country’s security personnel to get to the root of the matter.
The blood of thousands of innocent souls being wasted daily at various troubled spots, including the distressing kidnap of schoolchildren, has taken quite a turn for the worse.

We know that a society’s development is influenced by its quality of policing, and more than ever before, our nationhood is in dire need of divine intervention to survive.

It needs no emphasis that the security of life and property is the bedrock of social, economic and political stability of any nation. Governments are constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of internal security through established agencies empowered by law.

This duty is distilled into standard policing to enforce law and order in the wake of a secured/safe environment while the standard of policing available to nation, in some ways, determine the level of development of that country.

Unfortunately, the Nigerian police has not been able to live up to expectation in providing adequate security to the nation, chiefly due to the inadequacy of personnel.
For example, Nigeria’s 300,000 officers for an estimated population of 200 million translates to about one police officer for every 667 citizens, still below the internationally recommended standard of at least, one police officer for every 450 citizens.

The statutes (Criminal Procedure Act, Police Act and the Constitution) expect the police to play visible role in the administration of criminal justice, in much the same way individuals and the society at large equally expect a lot from the police especially in the prevention of crime, protection of lives and criminal deviants.

Unfortunately, the Nigerian Police has been bitterly criticized in the area of criminal justice in Nigeria.
The decline in the record of criminal convictions and non-prosecution of criminal offences in Nigeria has continued to feature as an issue hindering the administration of criminal justice which, for us, needs to be addressed.

Recent researches and findings, particularly by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report a plethora of cases of offences which do not get through to conviction
as a result of lacuna between the ministry of justice and police.

Hence, the state of national security has been jeopardized by not bringing culpable persons to book to answer for their crimes.

There is no doubting the fact that non prosecution and punishment of crimes encourages the wide spread commission of crimes and the belief that crime is profitable.

A very good example is the rate of impunity in the commission of offences by bandits, criminal herdsmen and members of the Boko Haram and other groups in Nigeria as well as thuggery and kidnapping in all the regions.

It is therefore incumbent on the various government, at all levels, to deploy more quality and professional legal practitioners in the administration of criminal justice.

Furthermore, we suggest that government at all levels should permit private legal practitioners who are interested in criminal prosecution to join hands with the states in the prosecution of criminal cases either by private consultancy, private engagement or by pro bono interest. This, in our view, will, hopefully, assist the state in reducing the traffic of criminal cases pending in courts that have to do with awaiting trial and other issues generally connected with criminal prosecution.

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