Enugu communities bemoan police attitude in crime prevention, control
MEMBERS of the Enugu Neighbourhood Watch from various communities in Enugu South Local Council have accused the police of severally asking for a tip-off before they could respond to emergency situations and crime alerts from some communities, especially at night.
Speaking at the weekend during a local council security forum at the council’s headquarters at Uwani, a Neighbourhood Watch Secretary from one of the communities, who gave his name as Ifeanyi Okwu, expressed regret that the police are not effectively playing their role in crime prevention and control in the area.
He recalled how he reported a case of gun-running to a police station in the council area but was requested by the police to pay N2,500 before they could follow him claiming that they did not have sufficient petrol to go on such assignment.
He said: “I offered them N1,500 and volunteered to bring my own vehicle but they insisted on the N2,500 which I could not provide. At the end, they didn’t come and there was nothing we could have done in that situation.”
On their part, the police, represented by Divisional Crime Officers of Awkunanaw, Ikiriki and Uwani Police Divisions, praised the communities for improved information to the police but listed such challenges as lack of adequate office facilities, operational vehicles and other equipment as part of the reasons behind their limitations and performance.
One of the Divisional Crime Officers said attitude of residents towards crime prevention has not helped the police, pointing out that the Command would not take it kindly on officers’ refusal to attend to distress or emergency calls.
She said mobile phone numbers of the Commissioner of Police and Divisional Police Officers have been made public and urged residents to make use of them and report each time there was lapse from their officers.
In a paper on crime and its prevention Mr. Ifeanyi Anyanwu, Programme Officer, CLEEN Foundation, highlighted factors that aggravate crime to include upbringing and childhood experience, poor value system, lack of transparency and accountability in the society, inequality as well as greed.
To have a more secured community, he advocated that people in various communities should be their brothers’ keepers, participate in community meetings, have police contact and work with the police and have respect for human rights and the law.