The police have sent a proposal to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval to shore up their manpower by recruiting 155,000 personnel in five years as part of measures to meet the United Nations (UN) standard of effective policing.
The police are also considering the introduction of whistleblowing to curtail criminality by mopping up illegal arms in different parts of the country.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Training and Development and Supervising DIG in charge of South-south geopolitical, Mr. Emmanuel Inyang, spoke yesterday at the headquarters of the Bayelsa State Police command.
Inyang, who visited the state command as part of his ongoing tours of police formations in the South-south, insisted that the recruitments were underway to secure the personnel required to fight crimes.
He said the plan was to recruit 31,000 policemen every year in the next five years, adding that besides from equipment, the number of personnel was necessary to fight criminals.
He said: ‘’More recruitments are in the pipeline. We have discovered that the United Nations standard of policing says one policeman to 400 citizens, but from our calculation and statistics, we found out that we now have one policeman to 600, that is where the stress of policing is coming from.
‘’So, we have written to the President to give us the power to recruit 31,000 police officers every year for the next five years. This is how we can achieve that standard but at least, even if we cannot make the 31,000 personnel, at least, 10,000 or 15,000, we hope to get and with that, very soon we can meet the UN standards.’’
Inyang said increase in personnel would help to reduce the number of hours spent daily by policemen from 12 to eight adding that such reduction will increase the efficiency and productivity.
The DIG further said available statistics indicated that the crime rate in the South-south had reduced.
He appealed to officers and men of the force to shun corruption and key into President Buhari’s change syndrome.
He said: ‘’The basic tenet of discipline must be upheld at all times and we have also asked the CPs and AIGs under my command to pay attention to visibility policing and operation safer highways to reduce crimes maximally.
‘’Wherever I went, I have asked the commissioners to build up synergy and cooperation with other sister security agencies and state chief executives to promote security.
‘’In the South South zone we know that we have cultism, vandalism and kidnapping that are very common. We need to restrategise to tackle these menace. I therefore charge other senior police officers to support CPs to supervise officers and men in their command to engender discipline.’’
Inyang said the police high command was working out improved welfare package’s for policemen, including a housing scheme for them Nqwuta.
He promised that the houses built in all zonal headquarters and commands under the scheme would be sold to officers and men at affordable prices.
Earlier, in his address, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Amba Asuquo, said the police were considering whistleblowing to mop up illegal arms criminals.
“We look towards the angle of whistleblowers to tell us where illegal arms are for mop-up. There are still arms in the hands of very wrong people”, he said.
He said the command established a functional community programme for a proactive, intelligent driven and result-oriented policing.
He said the command was receiving assistance from eminent persons forum, police community relations committee, traditional rulers, community development committees, vigilance committees and other youth groups.
’’The command has by this initiative maintained a low level of crime in the state. All entry and exit points are properly manned to ensure there is no infiltration of insurgent arms and other criminal elements into the state.
‘’The safer highway patrol and other patrol teams are engaged in patrolling the state to enhance visibility of policemen in the state.’’
He, however, said some of the challenges facing the command were inadequate manpower, logistics inadequacies, accommodation and unbefitting police headquarters.