Bill seeking community policing passes second reading

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed for second reading a bill seeking to establish state and community police in the country.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Abiodun Awoyele (APC-Oyo) also sought to replace the nomenclature of Nigeria Police Force with Nigeria Police Service.

Moving the motion for the amendment on the floor of the house, Awoyele explained that he was seeking to alter a section of the 1999 Constitution as amended to protect the unity of the country.

He said that state and community policing would provide adequate security of lives and property in the country.

He argued that the move was crucial since most of the personnel would be familiar with their localities.

“The police are supposed to be for the people.

“The inhabitants of various communities will see the police as part of their communities; it is necessary in effective policing.

“State and community policing are necessary because they know the terrain of the localities,’’ Awoyele said.

Contributing to the motion, Rep. Oladele Kayode (APC-Ogun) faulted the existing structure of the police, describing it as colonial.

He explained that policing would be more effective when the current structure was decentralised to provide for state and community policing.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, referred the bill to the Special Committee on the 1999 Constitution Review for further legislative action.

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