The Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Mr Haliru Gwandu, said the Nigeria Police has designed a Standard Operational Procedure, SOP, for operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to help reform its activities.
According to Gwandu, who was represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fidelis Okafor at an event in Abuja, declared that the Police was committed to reforming SARS personnel for improved security in the country.
Gwandu highlighted that SARS was a unit that was set up to counter violent crimes, cultism, robbery and kidnapping across the country.
He said, “Measures are been taken to make Federal SARS more accountable, reliable and dependable by lecturing them weekly on the content of the SOP and their responsibilities, which are: the duty of the unit is to curb violent crimes, robbery among others, on no account should SARS engage in handling civil and commercial cases.
“They are not to engage in stop and search except there is a distress call, they must always appear in their uniforms and not be part of Very Important Person’s, VIP, convoy among others. “Several trainings have also been carried out for the personnel on human rights and investigation and more is still being done for a better SARS.”
Gwandu was speaking at a seminar with the theme: ‘The Effective Response of the Nigeria Police Force to the Curbing of Crimes in Nigeria: The role of SARS.’ The seminar was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, in collaboration with the Nigeria Policing Programme. Also speaking, Acting Director General BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi, stated that safeguarding a country could not be done only by the police, therefore SARS was set up to assist.
He noted that, in a bid to stall crimes, human rights were being violated, adding that there is a public outcry by the citizens to stop this abuse.
According to Arabi, the Bureau conducted a research into the police complain mechanisms from October 2017 to February 2018 to identify the challenges of policing and recommendations were made.
Speaking in the same vein, Team Leader, Nigeria Policing Programme, Mrs. Kemi Okenyodo, declared that the programme was supported by the government of the United Kingdom to ensure effective service delivery and accountability of police to Nigerians.
She noted that the seminar was organised to discuss on how to reform the police force, particularly SARS based on researches carried out on the activities and conduct of SARS. “We are in the age and time when we are talking about community policing and building trust between government, its agencies and the citizens,” she said.