Sir: The apparent failure of federal security arrangements to meet the current security challenges in the country has heightened the debate over state police. The following existing examples from other climes show that each federal state in practice adopts a police structure that is tailored to suit its situation and needs. There is no one-cap-fits-all system. There are many federations that operate state police, but several of them operate different system. For instance, only three of the provinces in Spain have their own police. Others make do with the national police. Canada is a federation, but only two of the provinces have their own provincial police. In its other provinces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is in charge. Italy has three national police forces, but only some of the 109 provinces have provincial police forces.
Considering that Nigeria is grossly under-policed at the moment, the best solidarity the government can show to those who have lost loved ones to criminals is to adopt a type of state police that could help to achieve a more efficient and effective policing of the entire country.
In India, each state has its own police headed by a Commissioner of Police. The Indian Police system could be adapted, but it has to be modified and then applied in a way that control of the nation's police force remains with the Federal Government while security is enhanced.
The Nigerian version of the state police could be experimented by simply changing the method of posting of policemen and women across the country.Policing will be more effective and efficient if policemen and women are posted to their various states of origin, under a commissioner who is a non-indigene of the state.
Deputy commissioners under him would also be non-indigenes. Under such system of posting, every police personnel would be compelled to become more responsible.Under this arrangement, the state commissioner would be in a better position to gather more accurate information from his sub-ordinates and feed his superiors with same, all in the overall interest of the nation. Such system of posting would drive the passion of the police officer, who not only work for government, but also working for the peace and security of his/her community.
Also, the police officer understands that members of the community have their personal profile. So, they cannot afford to compromise security or under-perform. Otherwise, his/her job would be on the line. An officer, who happens to be posted to his hometown, knows the terrain too well and would be able to do a better intelligence job and conduct more result-oriented investigations.
However, as the police authorities move to review approach to policing, it is necessary for government to address failure of governance at all levels in terms of social services provision and infrastructure development, job creation and employment opportunities, epileptic power supply and general under-development amidst rising oil revenues. Government must ensure that urgent measures are taken to address the challenges of governance in fundamental and sustainable ways as part of measures to reduce crime rate in the society.
Albinus Chiedu is a public analyst