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End SARS campaign and IGP new measure

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By Chinedu Nwaneri

There is no doubt that the social media campaign tagged ‘End SARS now’ has triggered controversy, as well as earned the support of aggrieved Nigerians who took to online platforms to narrate their experiences in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force.

The rate at which the campaign gained momentum and exposed some atrocities allegedly committed by operatives of this special squad led the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to as a matter of public interest, direct the immediate conduct of a nationwide and instant investigation into allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the operatives.

In a recent statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, the IGP stressed the need to reposition the SARS for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that it operates based on International Core Value of Policing with integrity.

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Although the IGP acknowledged that the SARS have remained committed to the fight against violent crimes and have contributed to the drastic reduction of armed robbery, kidnapping and cattle rustling among other violent crime nationwide, the IGP insisted that a new training programme would be organised for all federal SARS personnel.

According to him, the training which would centre on core police duties, care and custody of suspects, and observance of human rights and handling, would be organised by the force in collaboration with some civil society organisations (CSOs), local and international NGOs, and other human rights organisations.

Directing the Commissioners of Police to comply with the force’s new arrangement, and to warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives, the Police boss mandated the IGP X-Squad to go round the commands and police formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend police officers.

The new arrangement recognises a Commissioner of Police as the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.

The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their area of responsibilities; as well as control crack squads necessary to sustain law and order cum protection of life and properties.

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Federal SARS will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters; and a Federal SARS Commander of a rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will oversee FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the Country.

Meanwhile, aggrieved members of the public were advised to channel any past or present complaint on violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country to: the IGP X-Squad via 09035621377 (Whatsapp), 09032278905 (SMS), 09026900729 (Calls); Force Public Complaint Bureau via 07056792065 (Calls/SMS/Whatsapp), 08088450152 (Calls/SMS/Whatsapp), [email protected]; and the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) via 08057000001 or 0805700000 (Calls), 08057000003 (SMS or Whatsapp), and Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU

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