The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, yesterday said that the high number of criminals currently being remanded, has forced the authorities at the Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons to bar him from bringing more detainees to those prisons that have since reached their capacity.
Edgal said the Community Policing and Public Partnership he adopted as his official policing strategy for Lagos State had started paying off leading to drastic reduction in crime rate in the state in the last two months. Edgar Imohimi, the new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command.
The commissioner, who made this disclosure during a security town hall meeting organised by the Area J Police Command, Ajah, added that criminals who were formerly operating in the state have started relocating.
But he identified residential robberies at night as the only major security challenge bedevilling the state at the moment and he urged Divisional Police Officers, DPO, and Area Commanders across the state to work closely with vigilantes and other informal policing outfits to end the vice.
While assuring residents of the state of his commitments to combat crime, Edgal disclosed that, the command had in the last two months after he took over as the Lagos CP, recorded the highest number of arrests of hoodlums and criminals.
He said these suspects have all been charged to courts and many of them are currently serving prison terms.
He added that the high number of criminals currently being remanded, has forced the authorities at the Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons to bar him from bringing more detainees to those prisons that have since reached their capacity.
He said; “We now take our suspects to Badagry Prison, which is the only prison in Lagos capable of taking more detainees.
“This will show you that our partnership with the public and the informal policing sector is paying off. There is no hiding place for criminals in the state; we go after them immediately we get information from members of the public about their activities.
“I have a stand-by force at the Command headquarters that I deploy to any area that needs to be mopped up. When members of the public send information to us, we act on it and the result is what you are seeing. “From the statistics at my disposal, crime rate in Lagos State has gone very low compared to what we had few months ago.
The only major case we still experience is residential robberies and I believe proper partnership with vigilante groups will put an end to that,” he stated. Edgal also said the police personnel have been warned to be of good conduct as it is no more business as usual. “Any misconduct will be met with serious punishment for example bail is free.
Don’t give money to the police for anything. If a policeman request for money for anything report him to his superior and I will deal with such officers. Always utilise the Citizens Complaints Hot Centre, CCHC to report any unprofessional conduct of the police.” “We can’t continue to remain as we were. We need to give the police the opportunity to gain the trust and confidence of the people.” he said .
He also advised hoteliers against accommodating hoodlums and drug peddlers. The CP commended the residents of Area J for low crime rate which he described as a result of synergy between the police and the public. “We have our challenges but I urge you to support your Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers especially now that we are in the ember months. “I know you want a peaceful neighbourhood and I am here to partner with you to make that achievable.” he said