A bill seeking to establish community police forums across the country has passed second reading at the senate.
Speaking on Thursday, Haliru Jika, chairman, senate committee on police, said the bill also seeks to address deficiencies in pension, living conditions and weaponry among other issues.
Jika explained that some of the challenges confronting the police have persisted because of the “draconian and outdated statutes that guides policing in Nigeria.”
According to him, the existing police law does not have any specific objective.
“Mr. President and respected colleagues, the new 3 (i) 11 also provides for the establishment of Community Police Forums and boards by the commissioner of police of each state that shall consist of representatives of the police force and the local community in the state,” the senator said.
“This clearly, is a paradigm shift from the traditional police system to a community-participatory system of policing, uniting ordinary citizens in their respective communities with the police in the prevention, detection and resolving crimes.
“In order to address the prevailing issues of gender discrimination in and by the police, a clause prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in the Nigeria Police Force and by the force has been deliberately inserted in the new bill.”
Speaking on the bill, Smart Adeyemi, senator representing Kogi west, said effective policing must be community based.
“Effective policing must be community based. What we have at present was what was put in place by colonial masters and inherited by the military,” Adeyemi said.
“This bill will equally address the challenge of community policing that we are talking about.”
The bill was adopted after Senate President Ahmad Lawan put it to voice vote.
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