Transforming Police Complaints Response Unit for Effective Service Delivery

Security is crucial to any nation’s well being, existence and development, hence countries the world over set up apparatus to cater for its internal and external security.

The police force in any nation is one of such vital architecture for internal security.

In Nigeria, the police force was established in 1820, with the mandate to ensure security of lives and property, investigate crimes, arrest and prosecute offenders.

This is to ensure that peace thrives in the country to engender an environment conducive for political, social, economic development and integration.

It is noteworthy that police personnel in the country have to a large extent worked assiduously to fulfill this responsibility.

One cannot forget in a hurry the Oyenusi, Anenih and Shina Rambo armed robbery sagas and how the Nigeria Police tackled them.

Of recent was the case of kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans and how he met his Waterloo in the hands of the police.

However, these laudable achievements have always been dogged by the unprofessional conducts of some officers of the force.

Thus the police have been accused of extra-judicial killings, brutality and extortion of the public by its corrupt officers.

Public outcry over these and other sundry issues prompted the top hierarchy of the force to take steps to check abuses and impunity.

One of such measures was the setting up of Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit, PCRRU, which was recently transformed into Complaint Response Unit, CRU.

While establishing the unit, the former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris said the unit would be responsible for receiving and resolving all complaints of police professional misconduct emanating from policing activities and operations nationwide.

To underscore the importance attached to curtailing the excesses of some of its personnel, the current IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has equally kept the public complaints unit in view.

It is worthy of note, that the force had recorded some level of success in reining in impunity as evident in the reduction of cases of accidental discharge and extra-judicial killing in recent times.

The Nigeria Police have also shown its readiness to rid its rank and file of bad eggs, by the outright dismissal of those found guilty after investigations.

In line with its reformatory moves, the I.G. has re-organised the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, to give it a human face.

Although, the police have taken step to give the public access to its Complaints Response Unit through the social media for quick and effective interface with the police.

It is important that personnel in the CRU undergo constant training and retraining while the unit should be adequately funded.

Media organizations on their part should assist the force complaints units through adequate information dissemination for public consumption.

It is imperative for every Nigerian to avail themselves of the opportunity by supporting the police to enable it carry out its duties appropriately and decently.

Olukemi Akintunde 

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