By Auta Obadiah Dauda

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has issued a new operational guidelines for the police and other law enforcement agencies on Covid-19 prevention duties in the county. This is to done in a bid to end sexual abuse and other crimes and to improve relationship between the Nigerian Police and the public.

The new measures are aimed at deepening respect for the rights of citizens as well as provide a new set of policing tools for tackling emerging crimes such as domestic violence, rape, child molestation and other incidents of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

This is contained in a statement released by the force spokesman, DCP. Frank Mba in the force headquarter, Abuja on Monday, 8th June, 2020. That domestic violence, rape, defilement and cyber crimes associated with covid-19 restrictions are increasing at alarming rate. This made the police authority to come up with this new operational guidelines to check and reduce the crime rate.

The statement also said the guidelines “will help to adequately coordinate and reshape the conducts of personnel of the Force and other law enforcement agencies on the frontline of operations in the enforcement of the COVID-19 prevention orders. It will also serve as a standard code of conduct for Police officers in similar operations in the future.”

Furthermore, it conveyed the order of the IGP for the strengthening of the Gender-Desk Units and the Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWCs) across the country and the deployment of investigative assets to deal with gender related offences.

“In addition, the Cybercrime Unit of the Force has also been strengthened to deal with cybercrimes connected with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement reads briefly.

“Meanwhile, the Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police in zonal and state Commands as well as Heads of Police Departments/Formations have been directed by the IGP to make the guidelines subject of departmental briefings and lectures.

The Operational Guidelines would also serve as a training manual at all Police training institutions in the country.

“The IGP has equally charged the Force Provost Department, the X-Squad, the Force Public Relations Department, the Complaint Response Unit and the Public Complaint Bureau to carry out their oversight roles of adequate evaluation and monitoring of officers to ensure compliance with the Guidelines and bring erring personnel to book. He also enjoins citizens to cooperate with the Police and other Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) as all hands are on deck to curtail and contain the virus in the country.

“The IGP has expressed profound appreciation to the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation and the representative of the British High Commission for their contributions and presence during the unveiling of the Operational Guidelines. He also commends all other corporate organizations who supported the Police in the publication of the booklet,” it concluded.

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