Community Police bill scales second reading in Senate

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The bill presented before the senate on the need to establish community police forums across the country on Thursday passed the second reading.

The bill intends to provide a legal framework to ensure cooperation and partnership between the police and communities in maintaining peace and combating crime and insecurity in Nigeria.

Sponsor of the bill, Senator Haliru Jika, in his lead debate, explained that the introduction of community police by the bill is a “paradigm shift from the traditional police system to a community-participatory system of policing, uniting ordinary citizens in their respective communities with the police in the prevention, detection and resolving crimes.”

When passed, he said the bill will among other things address the recurrent challenges and deficiencies in structure, appointments, promotions, discipline, postings, training, kitting, weaponry, living condition, pension and retirement benefits.

“The general welfare of our dear gallant officers, within the Nigeria Police Force, have persisted, largely because of the draconian and outdated statutes that guides policing in Nigeria.

“The present Police Act is not only fraught with deficiencies, but strangely, the major organization, duties, and powers of the Nigeria Police Force, as encapsulated in the present Act, have largely remained as set out in the 1943 Police Act.

“It is in recognition of the inherent shortcomings in the extant Police Act and the seemingly intractable challenge of insecurity in our country that has necessitated the proposed repeal of the extant Act and the enactment of a new one in its place, in consonance with the dictates of international best practices and realities of present-day, Nigeria”, Jika said.

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