Mr Haliru Gwandu, Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on Thursday restated the police commitment to reforming the SARS personnel for improved security in the country.
Gwandu said this at the Lunch Time Reform Seminar, on “The Effective Response of the Nigeria Police Force to the Curbing of Crimes in Nigeria: The role of SARS,” in Abuja.
The seminar was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in collaboration with the Nigeria Policing Programme.
Gwandu, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fidelis Okafor, stated that SARS was a unit set up to counter violent crimes, cultism, robbery and kidnapping.
He said that in a bid to achieve the reform, the police had already designed a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) to establish a friendly SARS that would meet the aspirations of the citizenry.
“Measures are being taken to make federal SARS more accountable, reliable and dependable by lecturing them weekly on the content of the SOP and its responsibilities.
“These responsibilities which are the duty of the unit is to curb violent crimes, robbery among others, on no account should SARS engage in handling civil and commercial cases.
“They are not to engage in stop and search except there is a distress call; they must always appear in their uniforms and not be part of VIP convoy.
“Several trainings have also been carried out for the personnel on human rights and investigation and more is still being done for a better SARS,” he said.
In his address, the Acting Director-General, BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi, said that SARS was set up to assist the country as police could not only safe guard a country.
“In a bid to stall crimes, human rights were being violated. There is a public outcry by the citizens to curb this abuse,’’ Arabi said.
He said that the bureau conducted a research into the police complain mechanisms from October 2017 to February 2018 to identify the challenges of policing and recommendations were made.
Earlier, Mrs Kemi Okenyodo, Team Leader, Nigeria Policing Programme, said that the programme was supported by UK government to ensure effective service delivery and accountability of police to Nigerians.
She noted that the seminar was organised to discuss how to reform the police force, particularly SARS based on researches carried out on the activities and conduct of SARS.
“We are in the period when we are talking about community policing and building trust between government, its agencies and the citizens,” she said.