Police arrest 171 suspects, rescue 19 captives in Akwa Ibom

The Akwa Ibom Police Command yesterday said it arrested 171 suspects and rescued 19 captives between last December and February 25 this year.

CP Imohimi Edgal, who made the disclosure at the town hall meeting/security summit of the Uyo Area Command in the state capital, pointed out that due to the security consciousness of the people, Akwa Ibom emerged one of the most peaceful states in the country.

According to him, within the period under review, crime rate dropped by over 25 percent, adding that 14 different types of firearms and 25 assorted ammunition were recovered, while 94 persons got arraigned in court.

He said the feat was possible through community policing, noting that some of the arrests were done by the citizens.

Admitting that the force could not be everywhere owing to shortfall in manpower, the CP encouraged communities to take up strategic policing by setting up vigilance groups and deepening police’s participation.

His words: “From December till the February 25, 2020, the police, under my command, have arrested a total of 171 suspects for various offences. We have also rescued 19 persons who were kidnapped either within or outside the state, but our attention was drawn to it.

“We have recovered 14 different types of fire arms, we have also recovered 25 types of ammunition. We have also in our custody, 38 different types of exhibits. A total of 94 persons have been charged to court, while cases still under investigation remain at 77.

“I am an officer that believes in checking statistics and using it as a guide to know whether we are moving forward or backward. I have from this statistics checked previous crime records, and I can say with certainty that the police under my command in the last two months have been able to reduce crime in the entire Akwa Ibom by well over 25 per cent.”

Edgal added that he had set up a citizens complaints committee with 10 dedicated lines in English language and vernacular.

He said though investigations showed that the people’s complaints about the police was hindering community partnership, the CP, however, urged the people to have trust and confidence in the force for the community policing model to work.

The police chief warned that any negligent officer would get a reduction in rank while those who do well would a get the CP’s letter of commendation.

He hinted that administrative checks were ongoing in the state command, adding that officers from DSC below that had stayed in a particular station for five years would be redeployed.

Earlier, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Aniekan Bassey, represented by Chairman of the House Committee on Youths and Security, Mr. Nse Essien, said the legislature owe the people a duty to create enabling laws for the society.

He revealed that the hallowed chamber had in its possession two pieces of legislation – Vigilante Expression and the Security Trust Fund bills – that would take care of security men in the state in the event of death.

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