In spite of the recent upsurge in crime in parts of Anambra State, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Security, Mr Ostar Christopher believes Anambra remains the safest state in the country.
He, however, thinks there is need for Anambra residents to take full advantage of the Community Policing concept to fight the spike in crime across parts of the state.
Recent days have seen crime return to parts of the state especially in Onitsha, Nkpor, Awka, Obosi and many others.
In Awka, about four persons have been gunned down since Monday, in what many tagged cult war, while robberies have been recorded in some places.
Speaking with TNC correspondent on Thursday in Awka, the Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State Governor on Security, Ostar Christopher observed that the spike in crime is not peculiar to Anambra State alone, noting that through the deliberate efforts of the state security paraphernalia, the crime wave in the state is minimal.
He maintained that community policing as advocated by the Inspector General of Police remains a viable initiative that will not only fight crime in the immediate, but also sustain the war against criminals on a permanent basis.
“Community policing simply means the people taking responsibility of their own safety and security. I give you an instance. Most crimes are community-based as they are planned and executed in specific locations. In a community where the consciousness towards policing is high, the hotelier who provides accommodation is conscious of his guests. The taxi driver who commutes them listens to their conversation and communicates same when he hears any untoward plan. The owner of the restaurant where they eat can also be privy to very vital information and that will help the security agents do their work in even preventing the crime from taking place. Again, when citizens observe suspicious movements by unfamiliar faces, they are bound under a community policing atmosphere to ask questions and when the responses are unsatisfactory, can pick up suspects and hand over to the Police and other law enforcement agencies,” he explained.
Christopher said the state government has repositioned the State Vigilante Outfit for greater efficiency.
This he said, has made crime prevention seamless at the grassroots.
In his words, “The AVG is in every community and we have made sure that they are well trained. Their roles in crime-busting have been invaluable because they are the ones who know the nooks and crannies of the state. They know the criminals in their localities and the ones who came in. In Anambra state, we have the best Vigilante Outfits and government has never reneged in providing them support. Security is not a destination but a journey. So, we continue to re-jig and fine-tune their operations in accordance with the provisions of the law and also ensure that they work hand in hand with the conventional security outfits, so as to give the best security services in their localities.”
The security expert revealed that the State Government has launched its yuletide security operations to beef up security across parts of the state during the Ember months.
“This operation” he noted, “is a yearly exercise aimed at maintaining adequate security of lives and property of our people and other holidaymakers during this period. We observed that there is usually a spike in crime in crime due to uncontrolled quest for wealth acquisition and show-off by some elements. Therefore it became imperative for us as a government to develop a mechanism to address the anomaly. The State Government under the leadership of Chief Willie Obiano is security conscious in recognition of the capacity the state has towards commerce and industry. He has continued to support the security agencies to continue to provide a safe environment for business activities to thrive. Remember, it is his vision to make Anambra, a first choice investment destination and a hub for commercial activities and security is a key enabler towards achieving that.”