‘Stop And Search’ Should Be Carried Out Without Extortion Says IGP
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has expressed deep concern over the attitude of policemen in the field especially those on stop and search duty.
The IGP spoke during a meeting with strategic managers of the police comprising Commissioner, AIGs and DIGs at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday.
The IGP told the police strategic managers that he had had cause to drive around town to confirm growing complaints about the conduct and excesses of policemen on stop and search duty and witnessed such unacceptable incidents at roadblocks.
He stressed that while ‘stop and search’ could be an invaluable crime fighting strategy, it should be done only with approval and cannot be a permanent strategy.
The IGP warned that stop and search police operations must not be converted to an avenue to extort money from the public.
He warned that the Commissioners of police and others could be held accountable for any violation of the Force policy even as he asked them to adhere strictly to his vision for the police in their respective commands.
He said, “Indeed, there are still areas of grave concern as well as developments that will undoubtedly task our strategic leadership capacity as the year unfolds.
“One of such concerns is the conduct and attitude of our men especially police officers on the field. I have continually been inundated by complaints of excesses in the conduct of our men on patrol or Stop and Search duties and I have personally had the cause to drive round in the course of which, I witnessed some of these illegalities particularly in relation to road blocks.
“I want to reemphasize that while Stop and Search strategy could occasionally be an invaluable anti-crime tactic, such should not be done without requisite approval and must not be a permanent strategy.
“It must equally be conducted with extant police protocols which emphasizes civility to members of the public and must be laced with highest level of professional decorum. Such must not also be turned into an avenue for extortion.
“Consequently, as strategic leaders, you could be held liable for any violation of this Force policy. You are therefore strongly advised to go back to your Commands, review this development and ensure that your operations conform strictly to the vision of my leadership.
He said that while the police force has recorded significant progress, the force is not yet close to its national security objective of full restoration of the confidence of the citizens .
According to him, collated crimes statistics from January, 2022 shows that 36 terror elements, 78 murder suspects, 110 armed robbery suspects, 50 kidnapers and 150 cultists were arrested during various police operations across the country.
He added that 204 kidnapped victims were successfully rescued, while 155 firearms of various descriptions and one thousand, five hundred and sixty-one (1,561) live ammunition were also recovered.
He said further that ‘Operation Sahara Storm’ in Sokoto State which came into
being with the sole aim of rooting out identified bandits’ ‘camps at Gudugudu, Tarke Forest, Luguhuru through Hurra and Markira, Goronyo, Wurno and Heli in Rabbah Local Government and Zangon-Isu forest in Goronyo LGA of the State’ have achieved its objectives.
The IGP said that apart from the destruction of all the camps and other assets of the bandits in the criminal enclaves, a total of 38 suspected bandits/terror elements were also arrested.
He listed items recovered from them to include 32 AK-47 rifles, a Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, 1,412, 7.62mm live ammunition, 1,200 rounds of live AA ammunition and a locally fabricated revolver pistol, 10 cartons of Pentazocine BP 30 Injections, N800,000.00 cash Andrew three pairs of Army camouflage uniform.”