Prototype of a model police force

The way it works in Nigerian police stations: a complainant lodges a complaint at the station, a case file is opened and suspects invited for investigation, on getting to the station, a suspect puts down his/her statement in the case file, then depending on the circumstance of the case, such suspect is detained pending police bail, the time it takes to secure bail depends on your purchasing power, then the suspect is released and asked to come on another day for further investigation.

Take for example, a Samsung galaxy tablet goes missing in an apartment, and the owner of the tablet feels a particular person he saw around the premises took it, he goes to the station to report, and the suspect is picked for questioning, takes his statement then keep him in detention overnight for investigation. The same police station that has detained the suspect does not have database of suspects arrested for theft in the area, only paper files that are difficult to search for after a number of years. So why detain the suspect, and which information is detaining him going to provide, that such information cannot be gotten if the suspect is granted bail.


According to First Deputy Commissioner of New York City Police Department, (NYPD) cops come to work to save lives, do good, and make New York City stronger. Every day, they perform acts of heroism and take people off the streets who commit crime and hurt others, driving down crime to record levels. The second audiences should know is that the NYPD doesn’t arrest and summons people to fill the city coffers, arrest cost money in officer time to process them, and criminal summonses don’t raise significant funds in the context of an $89 billion city budget. {Source;}


In simple terms, the NYPD cop goes to work every day to curb crime in the neighborhood, not spending police time arresting and processing offenders which cost the government money, in contrast to the Nigerian policing system. Processing a suspect in the NYPD involves taking a mug shot (Photograph), keying his/her details into a computer creating a uniform database for all suspects arrested, and then move to process their bail, rather than spend all day arresting and processing suspects as is the case in Nigeria, they go out to the neighborhood to curb crime, risking their lives to ensure citizens lives, and properties are secured.


Here in Nigeria, crime is on the increase because we have placed our priorities on the wrong things, leaving Nigerian lives and properties vulnerable to any form of attack, from kidnappers, to armed robbery, to killing of innocent Nigerians, just to name a few. Our police stations need to key into the digital age of capturing every suspect arrested in the country, on getting to the station, the police should be able to know if a suspect is a perpetual offender, or a first-time offender.

Why spend more time on a desk at the station, when we can prevent the crimes that happen in our communities from happening in the first place? No sane Nigerian will see a police officer and commit a crime in his presence, except maybe the extreme few determined to take a Nigerian life. The prototype of a model police force, where police officers patrol the streets on a dialing forestalling crime from happening, not setting up check points, or wait at the counter for the offense to be committed to investigate.

The police are primarily responsible for curbing domestic crimes that happen in the country, they owe it first to prevent the crime from happening before the apprehension of offenders, not the other way around. Why spend government money to lodge a suspect for a day based on suspicion of theft without any real or direct evidence linking such suspect to the offense, or database showing if the suspect is a first-time offender, or a perpetual offender?

To my mind, we should rededicate effort to targeted enforcement of neighborhood policing, as is the case in New York city, as community policing has the effect of reducing crime to a record level.


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