We Will Reclaim Public Space – Anambra New Police Chief

By Jude Atupulazi

The 31st Police Commissioner in Anambra State, CP Tony Olofu, has announced the resolve of the State Police Command to reclaim the public space in line with the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman.

Olofu who disclosed this last Thursday while addressing newsmen at the State Police Command in Awka, said the IGP had directed the various commands to rejig and stabilize the security architecture to be able to fully reclaim the public space across the country, as well as to maintain law and order.

In his words, ‘The Command under my watch shall take drastic measures in crime prevention across the state. We will undertake critical threat analysis, embark on painstaking intelligence gathering through strategic deployment of our intelligence assets, robust synergy with sister security agencies, organized vigilante groups and other stakeholders.

‘To this end, the Command shall enhance crime fighting strategies that will be more proactive to dominate the public space and checkmate acts of criminality in the state.

‘Alongside our strong resolve to fight all forms of violent crimes, the window of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and community policing principles, where applicable, will be open for those desirous of taking advantage of such avenues to resolve specific problems and issues.’

The new CP said he was aware of other challenges bordering on professional misconduct on the part of his officers and men, such as extortion, unlawful detention and incivility to members of the public, among others.

He urged members of the public to promptly report erring officers to the Command for appropriate sanction, stressing that he was a firm believer that every resident or visitor to Anambra State deserved to be treated decently in line with the policing principles handed down by the IGP.

Olofu appealed to the media for cooperation as critical partners in the peace and security architecture of the state, noting that their primary role in communicating effectively and transparently to the general public, major incidents in the country, conferred on them the position of stakeholders.

‘How we manage this vital and sensitive role, especially at this critical time when elections are approaching, should weigh in favour of our national interest.

He said that Anambra was blessed with vibrant, energetic and enterprising people full of potentials, which, he noted, could only be fully realized in a peaceful and secure environment; even as he assured that the Command would do everything possible, professionally, to achieve that.

He urged the people of the state to remain law-abiding, vigilant and to continue to partner and support the Police and other security agencies, as they synergized and collaborated towards combating all forms of criminality, as well as ensuring public security and safety in the state.

He warned criminals to retrace their steps as the command was poised to deal squarely with all acts of criminality without regard for status.

‘I also appeal to you all not to hesitate in reporting suspected criminals and their activities to the nearest police station or call the emergency numbers, 112 and 07039194332,’ he said.

He earlier disclosed that upon assuming duty he had been briefed on a number of security challenges the state faced which he listed as armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, dispute over land, kingship tussles, boundary issues, farmers/herders clashes, public disturbances, attack on unsuspecting members of the public, security personnel, government infrastructure and sundry offences.

Olofu said the command had been bold in confronting those challenges and had recorded several successes in curbing some of the crimes.

He thanked Gov Willie Obiano, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state for supporting the Police in their task of enforcing law and order.