The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, Monday, inaugurated 259 patrol vehicles for the police under a new scheme tagged: “Safer Highway Patrol’’.
Arase who said the scheme was alternative to the dismantled road blocks as the vehicles would be deployed in “high-security risk’’ areas where check points used to be mounted to deter criminal elements, described road block as an aberration, saying that the police must change as the World ‘’is changing’’.
“One of the fundamental areas that bring the citizen into conflict with the police is the indiscriminate mounting of road blocks and the utterly unprofessional conduct of our officers at such locations. Rather than engender effective crime control system, credible researches have shown that they (road blocks) have lost their deterrence and crime detection potency,’’ he said.
According to him, the citizens see road block as a public nuisance that must be discarded if public support for the Nigeria police is to be restored.
“Nigerians yearn for re-assurance policing. Policing that will give them confidence, civility, and quality and service. Police that will not unjustifiably deprive them of their inalienable liberty, particularly their right to freedom of movement.
“Nigerians demand of their police highly professional men and women that will truly treat them as friends, brother, sisters and fellow citizens. They do not want to encourage what is referred to in police parlance as they `siege mentality or the `we and them’ mindset which pitches police perpetually against the citizens,’’ Arase said.
He said the new scheme was to re-assure the people that their security would be guaranteed even after the dismantling of road blocks across the country.
The I-G assured the officers attached to the patrol vehicles of adequate welfare package, adding that the only way to motivate the personnel was to meet their welfare needs.