Govt partners UK body on forensic investigation

Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase

Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase

A NEW partnership between the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and United Kingdom (U.K)-based Association of Criminal Records Office (ACRO) is set to strengthen the police’s forensic investigation as the agency updates its fingerprints database.

Similarly, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, has reiterated his commitment to officers’ capacity building. In a statement, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the planned partnership would boost forensic investigation of crime in the country.

He noted that such knowledge would reposition the NPF for better and effective service delivery, and “when fully operational, this synergy will, among others, review the police criminal justice system, develop criminal records register, provide the police with electronic criminal records gadgets, and modernise their information technology needs.”

Speaking at the opening session of a three-day training workshop in Abuja on the use of force and firearms, on the platform of the European Union-funded project, Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria, and in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland, Arase assured of best efforts “to modernise NPF tactical operational strategies to commensurate levels with international best practices.”

At the workshop were Assistant Commissioners of Police and heads of the legal section in the 12 zonal commands and the nine police training institutions in the country.

According to Arase, the workshop was the cornerstone of the police leadership’s policy thrust. Therefore, he encouraged officers to it as a practical hands-on approach to improving and modernising the institution.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Niger and Chad, Hans-Rudolf Hodel, said the use of force and firearms has been a recurrent issue in the embassy’s engagement with different stakeholders in Nigeria.

“If force must be used, it must at all times be based on the rule of law, be proportionate and result in the least possible damage,” he said. “The issue of force and firearms is one of the important the Nigeria Police has to deal with, particularly in relation to human rights abuses as a result of excessive force and misuse of weapons.”

The workshop was facilitated by national and international experts in police training and covered issues of human rights standards for law enforcement officers and their use of force and firearms, democratic policing, principles of proportionality, legality, authority, necessity and responsibility in the use of force.

Other areas included the issuance and handling of firearms, tactical use of force and firearms, and reporting and investigating the discharge of firearms. Nigerian officers spent the last day on a draft proposal for a revised Force Order 237 (use of firearms), as well as a draft Manual of Guidance on the Use of Force and Firearms.

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