Solomon Arase 1

Public Mistrust in Police Impedes Nigeria’s Community Policing

Dr. Solomon Arase, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Retired Inspector General of Police, attributes the struggle to implement an effective community policing system in Nigeria to the public’s mistrust of the police force.

Arase states that the Nigerian police force has tarnished its image through human rights violations and excessive force against citizens for personal gain, leading to widespread fear and reluctance among Nigerians to collaborate with law enforcement.

Addressing the theme, ‘Achieving Effective and Efficient Community Policing Gains in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges,’ Arase maintains that community policing cannot flourish amidst pervasive fear and mistrust.

The PSC Chairman’s sentiments were conveyed by Mr. Olumide Sodeinde, Director of Planning, Research, and Statistics, at the 39th Etim Inyang Anniversary Lecture commemorating the 39th anniversary of the Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC) in Nigeria.

Arase highlights the issue of insufficient compensation for police officers as another significant barrier to successful community policing in Nigeria.

He argues that underpaid officers will likely be less committed to their duties.

Additionally, he points out the pervasive corruption within the police force, which undermines their ability to prevent and control crime and hampers criminal investigations.

Arase warns that corrupt officers who collude with criminals pose a significant obstacle to the success of community policing.

Editorial Note

Rebuilding Trust: A Prerequisite for Effective Community Policing in Nigeria

Dr. Solomon Arase, Chairman of the Police Service Commission, has brought to the fore a critical issue facing our nation – the lack of public trust in the police force.

His assertion that this mistrust is hampering the operationalization of effective community policing in Nigeria is a call to action for a comprehensive reassessment of our law enforcement structures.

The current state of affairs underscores the need for fundamental reform.

The police, who are meant to be custodians of law and order, are perceived by many Nigerians as perpetrators of violence and human rights abuses.

This perception undermines public trust and impedes the effective functioning of community policing initiatives, which rely heavily on collaboration between law enforcement and local communities.

Furthermore, the issue of inadequate remuneration for police officers exacerbates the problem.

Underpaid officers are likely to be less motivated and more susceptible to corruption, which further erodes public trust and hinders the implementation of effective community policing strategies.

The implications of this situation are far-reaching.

A lack of trust in the police can lead to a breakdown in law and order, increased crime rates, and a general sense of insecurity among the populace.

Moreover, it can hinder the implementation of initiatives aimed at improving security, such as community policing.

Those in power must take decisive steps to address these issues.

This involves not only increasing remuneration for police officers but also implementing stringent measures to combat corruption within the force.

Furthermore, there is a need for comprehensive training programs that emphasize respect for human rights and the importance of building trust with the communities they serve.

While it is true that rebuilding public trust in the police is a complex and challenging task, it is not insurmountable.

By acknowledging the problem and taking concrete steps to address it, we can foster an environment where community policing can thrive.

We must all – citizens, law enforcement, and those in power – must work together to rebuild trust in our police force.

Can we hope to achieve effective and efficient community policing, ensuring a safer and more secure Nigeria?

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  • Nissi Nwaozuzu

    Nissi Nwaozuzu is a woman with many talents. She loves writing, reading, knitting, sewing, and drawing. She also plays the guitar and sings beautifully. Mixed martial arts are one of her passions as well! Email:

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