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IGP unveils protocols, guidelines for police officers, others

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Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has unveiled operational guidelines for police officers and other law enforcement agents on enforcement of COVID-19 safety measures.

The guidelines were developed in collaboration with the CLEEN Foundation and the United Kingdom High Commission to foster a more harmonious relationship between the Police and members of the public.

They were also meant to deepen respect for the rights of citizens, provide new policing tools for tackling domestic violence, rape, child molestation and other incidents of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

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Unveiling the guidelines at the Force Headquarters Abuja, Adamu lamented the increase in reported cases of domestic violence, rape, defilement and cybercrimes, among others linked with the COVID-19 and lockdowns.

He said the incidents had prompted introduction of the operational guidelines, which would help to adequately coordinate and reshape the conduct of officers and other law enforcement agents on the frontline of enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.

They would also serve as a standard code of conduct for police officers in similar future operations. Adamu also ordered the strengthening of Gender-Desk Units and Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWCs) across the country and deployment of investigative assets to tackle gender-related offences.

In addition, its Cybercrime Unit has also been strengthened to handle cybercrimes connected with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He further directed Assistant Inspectors General (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) in zonal, state commands and Heads of Police Departments and Formations to make the guidelines subject of regular departmental briefings and lectures.

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The guidelines will also serve as a training manual in all police training institutions, just as the IGP urged citizens to cooperate with the police and other Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to contain coronavirus in the country.

Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, said it was necessary to work with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the United Kingdom High Commission and other partners to develop the guidelines to ensure that security agencies enforcing restriction of movement orders did so effectively.

“The guidelines are not only restricted to the police, but also other security agencies. At the beginning of the lockdown, there were a lot of rights abuses between security agencies and civilians and we find it necessary to start this collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force and other partners.

“The idea is to remind them that although they are enforcing lockdown, they were doing so with human beings and that they are on essential duty and can also be affected by the virus,” he added.

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COVID-19Mohammed Adamu
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