Policemen in Lagos State and other parts of the country have been advised to always gauge their actions in the course of maintaining law and order as its consequence could turn them from law enforcers into offenders.
The advice was given yesterday at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja by the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), CP Fiminhan Adeoye, at a workshop on ‘PLAN Principle and De-escalation of Crisis’.
CP Adeoye stated that the repercussions of some of the actions of policemen might be visited on the entire police population citing the example of ongoing global condemnation of the Minneapolis officer over the death of George Floyd. The police boss reminded policemen of their primary responsibilities of protection of lives and property as well as prevention of crime, adding that they must always protect the rights of the people.
He warned that inappropriate use of force could greatly violate the right of citizens, who they are meant and paid to protect. He cautioned the police officers against using armed and unarmed forces without considering the: proportionality, legality, accountability and necessity of such actions as enshrined in Police Revised Force Order 237.
The CP told the policemen that they must always consider the procedures guiding the use of firearms by any policeman during any operation. “You must have exhausted all the non-violence means like dialogue before resorting to the use of force and arms. You must also know when to cease the use force and arms,” he said.
Also speaking at the workshop, a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute Of Journalism, Dr. Jide Johnson, advised officers on the use of community engagement and personal responsibilities. He also emphasised on the perception of the public about police operations and how it affects their cooperation in creating a safe society.
Officers, who are always eager to use force, always find themselves in trouble and they also violate the right of other people in the process”, he added.
In his remark, Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), DCP Olatunji Disu, stressed that the workshop is one in the series of training the agency has lined for the officers of the squad to deepen their professionalism and forestall inappropriate use of force by the officers.