Increasing police personnel involvement in criminality and need to sanitize the force

The increasing number of checkpoints on South East highways has become a source of concern to the people of the zone. Aside the incessant road block or checkpoints, the activities of some of the policeman at those checkpoints also leave much to be desired.
A civil society organization, Inter-Society, was reported to have put the amount of money allegedly extorted from motorists on South East roads alone; in the region of N100 billion. This tends to defeat the objective for which these security agents are deployed to maintain security.
In the view of many Nigerians, most of the checkpoints have allegedly become avenues to make money rather than for maintaining security.
There is also the angle of reported involvement of some of these security agents in crime. Recently, the Abia State Commissioner of Police was reported to have raised alarm over what he was said to have described as the increasing rate of involvement of police personnel in crime.
Recently, an alleged police personnel who was said to have been involved in kidnapping, was shot dead when his gang engaged in a gun duel with the police at New Owerri area in Imo State.
Last week, a Catholic priest was alleged reportedly kidnapped and later found dead while a security personnel was said to have been involved the crime.
These unfortunate developments no doubt, portray the country in bad light and negatively rob off on the citizens’ confidence in the force. Before now, Nigerians in some cities and states of the country had taken to the streets in protests against the alleged reported activities of police F-SARS. The protests compelled the Federal Government to take steps to address the concerns of the citizens by restraining the activities of that unit.
Onus therefore is on the leadership of the police in the country to take urgent steps to rid the force of bad eggs. This must begin during the recruitment process. The authorities of the Nigeria police need to ensure that only youngmen and women of good character are recruited into the force. The aspect of monitoring in the force should equally be strengthened. Citizens ought to report erring police personnel especially, those at checkpoints for disciplinary action.
It is also imperative for the police to invest in Internet and Communication Technology, ICT, to enhance crime detection.

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