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Policing Nigeria adequately using info tech

Information and communications technology has become indispensable to our modern life, we critically depend on information and communications infrastructure in planning our personal lives, our societies, business activities and running critical infrastructures. 

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This is the simple reason why governments of the world are embracing the concept of “Smart Technology” especially in the management of energy, water, transportation, waste, surveillance, modern security threats etc.

‘Smart cities’ have moved from being just a buzzword, to reality, the evolution began at the turn of the last century and it has got to its next stage. As more governments begin to adopt “smart” concepts, some find it challenging to keep pace with the rapid changes the digital world bring with it, along with the consequent evolution of their service delivery models.

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Early warning prognosis and detection of breaches are the things that will determine if an entity is in a state of readiness, meaning that the emphasis of cyber security has improved to encapsulate Threat Intelligence. A state of readiness to deal with cyber-attacks requires behaviors that are thoughtful, considered and collaborative. No organization or government can ever predict or prevent all (or even most) attacks; but can reduce its attractiveness as a target, increase their resilience and limit damage from any given attack.

Public security is a growing concern for big cities worldwide. Tailored apps can provide police and emergency services with new technologies to fight crime and make cities safer. 

There exists a solid infrastructure of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) in most cities across the globe, comprising public and private-owned systems. Historically, these have been used retrospectively to examine crime scenes for evidence. But cities such as the ones found in Nigeria are lagging behind in piloting programs to apply predictive analytics to video feeds. Public safety and security are top priorities for Nigeria at this time in our national lives.

Video analytics is the capability of automatically analyzing videos to detect certain objects, behavior, spatial and temporal events. This is used in a wide range of domains, including entertainment, health care, surveillance, home automation etc. These Video Analytics tools can be used with a wide range of modules for various purposes and can work as a proactive monitoring tool, triggering alarms to signal immediate attention of concerned teams.

Nigerian cities are bursting at the seams, civic resources are under pressure and crime is harder than ever to police. As it stands, most video surveillance technology is inefficient. Police investigations are often hampered by blind spots in video networks and low-quality imagery or not installed completely.

Issues with data storage and retrieval mean incident data is usually slow to reach command staff, and data loss can derail investigations altogether. However, new technology is starting to become available to help Police combat crime more effectively. The NNPC, LNG and other big oil production companies can now predict pipeline vandalism, even before it happens, the analytics will potentially predict from past occurrences where and when next this act of unpatriotic nature will take place.

The Nigerian Police Department can implement a new service for citizens to file non-emergency police reports online. This initiative is proven to reduce call volume for Police Department’s personnel which allows for additional directed patrol.

This author has dedicated his time to researching and making available adequate security-related infrastructure in Nigeria via his company, Skytick Global Technology Limited, the culmination of these efforts have mutated in the Nigerian Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS). The slogan and mantra of this media outfit is See Something, Say Something and this does not exempt members of the Nigerian Police and how they discharge their duties.

The NPBS has concluded plans and arrangements to own and operate Digital TV, FM Radio Stations (starting with Lagos and Abuja) and a trendy yet security focused web presence that will be online 24/7 all year round. This set-up will allow the NPBS in direct conjunction with the Nigerian Police deploy and dispense justice while it is still hot.

Because the TV Stations and FM Radio Stations will also be transmitted in local languages, NPBS anticipates a massive dip in the rate of crime commission across the nation, which would stem from the high level of sensitization, when citizens know that when they see something, they should say something

Because the entire populace would be availed the equal opportunity of use of this service, even in anonymous modes, the Nigerian Police will have the opportunity to sample Nigerians’ thoughts and opinions, raw and in copious numbers. 

The unbridled privilege of this great insight on the part of the Nigerian Police cannot be overemphasized. In fact, the current IGP Ibrahim Idris, due to his exposure, has an unwavering belief that ICT and smart technology has a gargantuan role to play in effective policing of any country, especially, his beloved country, Nigeria. To further bolster this claim, NPBS, has been conceptualized as far back as 2012 but never saw the light of day, after three successive failed attempts, largely set back by erstwhile leadership of the Nigerian Police, it didn’t take the pragmatic and creatively-inclined IGP Ibrahim Idris long to embrace this project and give it a nod. 

The uniqueness this project (NPBS) brings will allow the different media to be tweaked on-the-go, what this means on one hand is that the NPBS via its TV, Radio, website and social media platforms will afford the Nigerian Police the means to tell its own story by itself, generally speaking, mass media has not been fair in its news coverage and has mostly shared sometimes exaggerated news concerning the Nigerian Police’s officers and their activities, on the other hand; members of the public will be able to use the various platforms to report past and ongoing crimes, incidences, anonymously blow whistles of unscrupulous citizens.

With the partnership of giant Security Intelligence outfit; Skytick Technology Global Limited and global technological brands, NPBS is set on the right path of effective communication and will immensely impact on land, waterways and border security in ways we can start drooling about.

The bloody clashes in Benue state may have been forefended if the public had been sensitized on how and who to call when cattle and herdsmen are sighted in territories not marked for grazing. Everyone knows that these herdsmen have access to radio sets at least, they will learn about the anti-grazing laws that exist in certain parts of Nigeria and would learn about the designated lands marked for grazing by the Federal Government. Benue state has been the food basket of Nigeria for a long time and radical cattle grazing will only render its citizens (mainly farmers) jobless and highly sullen. See Something, Say Something!

As the NPBS has a whole package of crime reportage and emergency response such as the NPBS Television, NPBS Radio, NPBS Online, including the Emergency Command and Control Communication Center and the maiden Nigeria Police Communication outfit that would be replicated across the length and breadth of Nigeria, the adoption of the Smart Technology will enhance the effectiveness of reporting and tackling crime in whatever form and from the 36 States of the federation, including the FCT, Abuja.  

A wise man I know once said “great economies and great nations, prosperity and abundance of nations and communities are created by men and not spirits. No matter how much you pray or fast, our country cannot grow without some of us deciding to do the hard work that makes nations grow.” 

Hence, all hands must literarily be on deck to see to the immediate take off of this laudable project.

Wesley is the Chairman/CEO, Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments on this thread are that of the maker and they do not necessarily reflect the organizations stand or views on issues.