OpinionOPINION: IGP Egbetokun's Sterling 10-Week Crime Reduction Strategy

OPINION: IGP Egbetokun’s Sterling 10-Week Crime Reduction Strategy

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

December 24,(THEWILL) – “We should always bear in mind that crime can never mean anything except the violation of the law,” Clarence Darrow.

Crime reduction is concerned with diminishing the number of criminal events and the consequences of crime.

On Monday, December 18, 2023, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, reeled out his achievements in 10 weeks of curbing crime and criminality in the country.

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The internal security situation of the country over the last 3 months or thereabouts has been relatively calm despite the threats of political and socio-economic instability that greeted the removal of fuel subsidies and post-election tribunals across the country.

The Nigeria Police under IGP Egbetokun has recorded a lesser number of violent crimes and other major offences across the country.

The Nigeria Police Force has been supportive of government efforts by providing the needed security and enabling environments for all legitimate businesses and other economic activities in Nigeria.

Through meticulously planned and well-coordinated operations driven by actionable intelligence, the Nigeria Police Force has effectively disrupted multiple infamous criminal syndicates involved in organised crimes.

I recalled that the IGP set up an ad hoc committee tasked with the comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations in line with the Firearms Act and other extant laws in the interest of public safety and general security aimed at tackling all forms of arms-related cases in the country.

I can attest that the mandate of the Committee played a major role in the drastic reduction of crime and criminality witnessed in the country in the past 10 weeks under review.

The total clampdown on the illegal fabrication, sales, possession, and use of prohibited firearms in the country by the committee paved the way for the huge success of crime reduction.

Also, the introduction of the Technological Drive for Smart Policing by the IGP Egebtokun-led management paved the way for a reduction in crime and criminality.

The Central Motor Registry (CMR), which was recently automated and rolled out, has revolutionised police response to the challenge of stolen vehicles in the country.

The platform affords Nigerians the opportunity to register their vehicles online, which improves the chance of recovering such vehicles if they get stolen.

The Nigeria Police Force-National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) is another department of the Nigeria Police that has reduced crime drastically, as the pivotal symposium that brought together Compliant and Fraud Desk Officers from various banks across Nigeria with the primary objective of fostering active collaboration and engagement in the fight against cybercrime was fruitful.

Based on some of the above analysis, the IGP said on Tuesday that within this period, policemen were able to rescue a total number of one hundred and thirty-four kidnapping victims, arrest three hundred and seventy-five suspected kidnappers, and arrest five hundred and seventy-eight armed robbery suspects in various operations across the country.

A total of four hundred and thirty-one suspects were arrested for rape and other sexually related offences; seven hundred and twenty-four suspects were arrested for murder and homicide cases; and two thousand, three hundred forty-three were apprehended for other criminal offences, out of which four hundred and thirty-three were suspected cultists.

The police were also able to recover four hundred and nineteen firearms of various types and a total of four thousand, two hundred and thirty-five different calibres of ammunition.

According to the IGP, the police recorded many breakthroughs in the investigation of some major criminal occurrences within the period.

On the deadly Otukpo bank robbery of October 20, 2023, during which the Divisional Police Officer, Otukpo Division, and many other innocent Nigerians lost their lives and huge sums of money were carted away from three commercial banks, the IGP said that the unrelenting efforts of policemen working with technically generated intelligence paid off, as during an encounter with the daredevil robbers, five of them were neutralised while four were arrested and are currently in custody assisting police investigators.

A total of nine AK47 rifles and five thousand and thirteen rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition were recovered from them.

On the 14th and 15th of December 2023, during a covert rescue operation carried out in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State and Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, respectively, twenty-three kidnapped victims, including kidnapped students of the Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State, were rescued unhurt while two notorious bandits fell to the superior firepower of police operatives after a fierce gun duel. Furthermore, unrelenting efforts by operatives of the FCT Command on December 4 and 5, 2023, led to the rescue of six kidnapped victims in the Guzape and Kwaku areas, where three notorious kidnappers terrorising the area were overpowered during the operation.

Also, a kidnapping and cattle rustling syndicate in Katsina State was busted on December 3, 2023, where five suspected bandits were arrested in their criminal hideout in Danmarki Village, Kafur LGA of Katsina State, and one kidnapped victim in their custody was released unhurt, while two hundred and three rustled cattle were recovered from the criminal elements.

Furthermore, three suspects who are members of a gun-running and armed robbery syndicate terrorising the Abuja, Katsina, and Nasarawa axis and supplying arms to bandits and other criminal elements were arrested. One AK-49 rifle, five magazines, and one thousand rounds of various calibres of ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

On December 11, 2023, police operatives successfully rescued in Kwara village, Kadarko, Nasarawa, eight (8) Federal University Lafia (FULAFIA) students who were kidnapped on December 7, 2023, in the state. The students were safely reunited with their families.

In Anambra State, police operatives intercepted a consignment of illicit arms intended for distribution to IPOB/ESN camps in various locations within the South-East geopolitical zone and arrested a gunrunner at Abuja Park, Onitsha, in possession of twenty-two (22) semi-automatic pump action guns and 625 live cartridges.

Furthermore, the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Imo State Police raided an IPOB/ESN camp in Aboh Mbaise, during which one Ishaku Prince Jerry, a notorious suspect who has led several attacks on police facilities within the state, was neutralised, while seventeen firearms, two hundred and sixty rounds of live ammunition, and three Toyota Venza cars were recovered from the IPOB hideout.

The achievements recorded so far were made possible with the cooperation of members of the public in a manner that demonstrates the increasing determination of the citizens to support the police in restoring internal security.

It was also the result of the sacrifice, courage, zeal, and exceptional dedication of police commanders and other ranks.

I must commend well-meaning Nigerians for their support and commend personnel of the Nigeria Police across all ranks for aligning to the IGP’s policing vision and supporting the implementation of the strategies put in place towards restoring internal security.

As we approach a new year in a matter of weeks, there is a need to support the IGP by continuing to partner with the police through timely information and vigilance for a peaceful, successful, and progressive Nigeria.

***Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters*

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