Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, spoke on the proliferation of check points along Lagos-Ore-Benin-Delta road.
Investigation reveals that there are more than a hundred check points on Lagos – Ore – Benin -Delta road. Why?
It is a known fact that ‘checkpoints’, ‘stop and search’, ‘pin-down points’ etc are strategies to ensure visibility policing towards checkmating crimes and criminal activities world over.
Checkpoints are mounted by the police in strategic points across the country for varying reasons. These include prevention of crime and the need to instill confidence in the people especially on our highways and crime prone areas. The checkpoints should, therefore, not be considered indiscriminate or numerous as deployment of police personnel at checkpoints is a function of security and threat assessment of the areas.
What about allegations of abuse by the personnel at the checkpoints?
We must agree that we do not have a perfect system; however, we have internal mechanisms and standard operating procedures emplaced for checkmating excesses and unprofessional conduct by some of our men deployed to the various checkpoints. Where any of our personnel have been found wanting, they have always been brought to book expeditiously.
Considering the negative tendencies displayed on the general public and if unnecessary, can these checkpoints be reduced?
As earlier stated on what informed the setting up of checkpoints at various locations across the country, these security assets are withdrawn whenever the need no longer suffices in a given area and redeployed to other areas of importance.
What are the authorities doing about alleged extortion by officers in uniform? How are these excesses checkmated?
The Force frowns at every act of extortion or demanding with menace by our officers. Officers deployed to checkpoints are strictly being monitored by the Police X-Squad and other monitoring units. We also have channels such as the Complaint Response Unit and the Public Complaint Bureau to receive and resolve complaints from members of the public against police actions.
How can motorists or road users extricate themselves from such situation when confronted?
We beseech members of the public to always be calm and allow officers do their job. When there are perceived indiscretions and tendencies of unprofessionalism from the officer (s), do not engage the officers, rather request to speak with the most senior officer on ground. When you are not satisfied with response from the most senior officer on ground, report to the nearest police station or through the following hotlines: The CRU: Calls only 08057000001, 08057000002, SMS/Whatsapp 08057000003.
How do we make the roads safer and less hectic to travel on?
Road safety is not just about law enforcement. Other non-law enforcement departments have important roles to play in building, fixing and maintaining roads and bridges; creating speed breakers and providing street light; and providing ready and appropriate responses to challenges on the high ways. For motorists, the appropriate documents and permits are required. Driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration, and other documents are required by law.