‘I don't want to be a police officer'

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Well-Known Member
By Peter Nkanga

November 4, 2009 01:36AMT

Primary school kids who were taken to two police stations in the Lagos State by a non-governmental organisation have asked for better sanitation for detainees. The visit was organised by the CLEEN (formerly known as the Centre for Law Enforcement Education) Foundation and the pupils said they were disappointed in the quality of sanitation of detainees, asking the police to improve on the conditions of their police cells.

The police is your friend

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Alausa Police Division, Oliver Amaechi, took the pupils of Divine Offspring International schools, Ikeja, on a tour of the station's facility. He showed them the different cells where women and male suspects are held and explained how the police go about apprehending suspects and detaining them.

"Suspects that are arrested are kept in the cell for 24 hours. After then we take them to court. It is only if the suspect is arrested for a serious crime like murder that the police can keep a suspect for a longer period. As for feeding, we have a contractor who brings food for the detainees," Mr Amaechi said.

The DPO of the Ikeja Police Station, Imohimi Edgal, told another group of 4 pupils from the same school that there are three categories of crime for which any person from 18 years and above can be locked up in a police cell.

"We have simple offences such as minor assaults without harm to the body, a misdemeanour which is a more serious offence like stealing and there are felonies which are serious offences like murder and armed robbery. The police can arrest a person for these three categories," Mr, Edgal said.

What I don't want to be when I grow up

After the Alausa police station visit, 8-year-old Onome Ize-Iyamu said she had learned how the police go about their duty - she however said she she does not want to become a police officer. "The environment around the police station was clean but the cells should be cleaner and better," she said. "I learned that the police are the ones fighting criminals and protecting the people. But I don't think I want to be in the police."

Giving his opinion of the Ikeja police station, Ihunanya Onyekwere said the station needs to improve on its hygiene for the detainees. He also added that he would rather be a pilot than join the force.

"What I would change if I had the chance is the toilets at the station. The place was dark and everywhere was smelly. I don't want to be a police man because the police have too much work to do and people don't have respect for them," he said.

Meanwhile, the headmistress of Divine Offspring International Schools, Delphine Aziegbe, said she believed the visit by the pupils was worthwhile as they would become more security conscious, therefore leading to a better society.

The police station visit was organised by the CLEEN Foundation to promote a better relationship between the police and the public.

?I don't want to be a police officer'
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