Respect and protection of the rights of citizens has been described as the cornerstone of effective community policing.
The Director of U.S. International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in Nigeria, Ms. Roselyn Wiesse, stated this at an advanced human rights training for officers of the Nigeria Police.
She said protecting the rights of citizens was the best way to gain the trust of communities in Nigeria, and to show the people that the Police was capable of protecting them from prevailing security threats.
Ms. Wiesse added that for Police to perform its functions creditably, it must prioritise the respect of citizens’ rights in the course of discharging its constitutional duties.
Elsewhere, the Nigerian Security and Justice Adviser at the British High Commission, Katrina Laird, also advised the Police to be conscious of the citizens while performing its duty.
Ms. Laird spoke at an event organised by the Commission to train Police officers in Nigeria’s northeast on how to perform effectively in a vulnerable environment without infringing on the rights of citizens.
She stressed the need for the Force to make room for trust on the parts of citizens in the performance of their duties.
On his part, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahm Idris, described the training as apt, considering the sensitive and vulnerable nature of Police operations in the northeast.
Other participants at the event urged participating officers to ensure the lessons learnt at these training reflect on their skills in their various operations.