Group faults police multiple checkpoints, seeks reforms
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed its disappointment with the recent affirmation by the Police Force to continue the practice of checkpoints, which it considers outmoded, ineffective, and contrary to international best practices in policing.
The group called for urgent and comprehensive police reforms in line with modern global policing standards, the civil rights advocacy group, expressed its strong disappointment with the recent affirmation by the Police Force to continue the practice of checkpoints, which it considers outmoded, ineffective, and contrary to international best practices in policing.
The group’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, asserted that the persistence of checkpoints perpetuates an outdated method of law enforcement, eroding public trust and hindering the establishment of a truly professional police force.
He called for an urgent need for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to reconsider its current policing strategies. According to him, the widespread solicitation of bribes from motorists at checkpoints, a practice known as ‘Roger Me’ syndrome, undermines the force’s reputation and reinforces a culture of corruption.
This practice, he said, not only conflicts with global policing standards, but also damages the relationship between law enforcement and citizens.
“In an era where effective and efficient policing practices are being embraced worldwide, the Police Force’s decision to persist with the outdated roadblock system raises significant concerns about the force’s commitment to adhering to global best practices.
“The assertion that checkpoints cannot be discarded demonstrates a reluctance to evolve and adapt to new, technology-driven crime-fighting methods proven successful in other countries,” the group said.
HURIWA also emphasised the need for comprehensive reforms within the police force. It highlighted the significant disparity between Nigeria’s roadblock-heavy system and the community-oriented, consent-based policing models adopted by developed countries such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Drawing a sharp comparison between the policing systems of Nigeria and those of the aforementioned developed nations, HURIWA highlighted the stark contrast between the roadblock-heavy system in Nigeria and the community-oriented, consent-based policing models in these countries, just as it underscored the Peelian principles, the bedrock of modern policing, which prioritise ‘policing by consent’ and underscore transparency, accountability, and integrity in police operations.”
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