The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Chris Okey, has called for partnership between community leaders, the media and the police to help fight crime in the state.
Okey made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Owerri.
He said since most of the criminals in the state had their hideouts in the local communities, there was need for community leaders to liaise with the police to chase them out.
“I call on the village heads and the traditional rulers to come and help the police in the fight against crime.
“We have never betrayed any of our information sources and people should know that any relevant information given to the police will be treated in confidence,” he said.
Okey said most of the notorious criminals in police net were arrested in the various villages, adding that “such people still exist in the local communities”.
He noted that because the police could not be everywhere, the help of community leaders was required to reveal the hideouts and identities of criminals.
“Police is not a spirit to know who is who in the villages; therefore, we need the cooperation of everybody to fight these hoodlums.”
Okey emphasised that private citizens had the right to arrest any suspected criminal and hand him or her over to the police.
“It is not against the law for anybody to arrest a suspect and hand him or her over to the police for interrogation.
“I urge you all to keep a watch over the activities of those with questionable character in your environment so that the police can bring the person to book.”
Okey also tasked the media to always educate the public, more on the need to arrest suspects.
He said due to ignorance, many people felt that crime control was the sole duty of the police.
“I urge the media to also inform the public of the need to assist the police in the fight against crime,” he said.