The South-West Zonal Command of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for regular interactions between the Police and the various communities in fighting crimes.
Mr Lucas Konyejo, the Zonal Commander in the zone, made the call on Friday in Ikeja at a one-day town hall meeting organised by Nigeria Policing Programme, an NGO in collaboration with the NHRC.
The theme of the meeting was “Responsibilities in Community/Police Relations.’’
Konyejo said the meeting was organised to enhance relations between the police and the communities in their efforts to fight crimes.
He said that such meetings would avail the police the opportunities to explain the issues about their operations to enable the people repose confidence in the force.
“The public is to have confidence in the police in carrying out their duties. If the public and the police are friends, they will fight crimes together and make the job of police easy.
“From the interaction, the public will know that the police are accountable to them. The public will now know where to go if their rights have been infringed upon. The meeting is a continuous one,’’ he said.
Mrs Ivy Basil-Ofili, the Lagos State Intervention Officer of the Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP), urged the people to go through the NHRC in seeking redress when their rights were infringed upon.
Basil-Ofili said the town hall meeting was to enlighten residents in Ikeja area on how to enhance community policing.
“The event is also for NHRC to share information on its core mandate which many do not know,” she said.
SP Adigun Fatai, the second in command of SARS under the Police Command in Lagos State , said that one way to identify SARS operatives in the state was through the Scorpion logo.
He said that the logo of the Federal SARS is Leopard.
Fatai said the dressing of SARS operatives is usually determined by the operations they were involved in.
According to him, every SARS operative is first a policeman, who worked at SARS unit of the force.
“The operatives dress as disguise to criminals.
“We can be in the midst of criminals for days, weeks and months to monitor them. No SARS operative is permitted to torture any suspect to get information.
“Anyone with such evidence should get to the OC SARS for action,’’ he said.
DSP Jessy Umossien, the officer from the Human Rights Unit of the Police Command in Lagos State, advised the people to always channel their complaints to the desk at the headquarters, area commands and divisional areas.
She said that there is the human rights’ desk at all area commands, divisions and headquarters for complainants.
Mr Duke Ifeakachukwu, the National Coordinator, Youth for Human Rights International, said that many people’s rights were trampled upon because they did not understand their rights.
He urged the people to know their rights and draw closer to the police.
“They should trust the police to protect them.
“The police should not be used to suppress the people. Community policing is the best form of security,” he said.
Edited by Johnson Eyiangho/Peter Dada