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IGP unveils operational guidelines for COVID-19 prevention enforcements

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Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, on Monday, unveiled new operational guidelines for Police and other law enforcement agencies on COVID-19 prevention enforcement duties.

Adamu said in Abuja that the guidelines were part of measures by the Police to foster a harmonious relationship between the force and the public.

He said the guidelines would also deepen respect for the right of citizens and provide a new set of policing tools for tackling emerging crimes.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the items contained in the operational guideline state: “officers on duty must ensure adequate self-protection by frequently washing their hands with soap, use of hand sanitisers, wearing of face mask and maintaining of social distancing.

“Officers must also make efforts to understand the regulations and measures on COVID-19 issued by relevant authorities and their responsibilities in ensuring compliance”.

The IGP, however, raised concern over the increasing reported cases of domestic violence like rape, child molestation, defilement, cybercrime and other gender-based violence (GBV) linked to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to him, these unfortunate incidents have prompted the introduction of these operational guidelines, which will help to adequately coordinate and reshape the conducts of law enforcement personnel.

He said the guidelines were for the force and other law enforcement agencies on the frontline of operations in the enforcement of the COVID-19 prevention orders.

Adamu said it would also serve as a standard code of conduct for police officers on similar operations in the future.

He had called for the strengthening of gender desk units (GDU and juvenile welfare centres (JWCs) across the country and the deployment of investigative assets to deal with gender-related offences.

Adamu said the cybercrime unit of the force had also been strengthened to deal with COVID-19 pandemic related cybercrime.

He directed Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police in zonal and state commands as well as Heads of Police Departments/Formations to make the guidelines, subject of departmental briefings and lectures.

IGP urged the Force Provost Department, the X-Squad, the Force Public Relations Department, the Complaint Response Unit and the Public Complaint Bureau to carry out their oversight roles of adequate evaluation and monitoring.

Adamu said the idea was to ensure compliance with the guidelines and bring erring personnel to book.

He enjoined citizens to cooperate with the Police and other law enforcement officers, adding that all hands must be on deck to curtail and contain the virus in the country. (NAN)

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