US embassy cable - 01ABUJA1951

NIGERIA: POLICE-COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS A SUCCESS

Identifier: 01ABUJA1951
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA1951 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-08-07 05:14:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KCRM PHUM PGOV NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 001951 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
PASS TO AID FOR OTI AND BHR/DG 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, PGOV, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: POLICE-COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS A SUCCESS 
 
1. A series of eight workshops -- one for each of Lagos 
State's police area commands -- brought representatives of 
the various polcie units responsible for law and order in 
Lagos together with community organizations and NGOs to 
examine ways of managing conflict better and enhancing 
police-community cooperation in addressing crime. 
 
 
2. The initial inpetus behind this effort was Post's RNLEO 
(INL) and this led to successful and new collaboration 
between INL and USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives 
(OTI) in engaging the police.  Organized and funded quickly 
(in just two weeks) by OTI as a precursor to a planned 
INL-USAID Police Modernization program, these workshops 
sought to aid the Lagos State Government in addressing a 
continuing wave of violent crime in the nation's largest 
city.  Two NGO's -- the Center for Law Enforcement Education 
in Nigeria (CLEEN) and the Conflict Resolution Stakeholders 
Network (CRESNET) -- led the sessions with experienced 
trainers and facilitators.  While CLEEN regularly interacts 
with the police, these workshops marked the first time 
CRESNET had engaged the Police in conflict management 
training. 
 
 
3. Attendees included conventional police, members of the 
Rapid Response Squad (RRS, the creation of the Lagos Governor 
to deal with violent crime and composed of both conventional 
police and the Mobile Police--MOPOL), Neighborhood Watch 
(another creation of the Lagos Governor), the Chairmen and 
subordinate officials of Lagos' 20 Local Government Areas 
(LGAs), members of Citizens Development Associations in these 
20 LGAs, community groups and human rights NGOs. 
 
 
4. Discussion sessions led by CRESNET and CLEEN trainers 
included topics on: Sources of Conflict; Communications and 
Active Listening Skills; Procedures and Management of Police 
Complaints; Mediation Skills; Security Awareness and Warning 
Signals; Joint Problem Solving; and the Role of the Media in 
Conflict Management. 
 
 
5. RNLEO and Lagos POLOFF attended part of the last workshop 
and found a lively discussion underway among Police officers, 
the CRESNET facilitators, and community representatives. 
Issues like the perception of the Nigerian Police among 
average citizens were being addressed.  One of the workshop's 
NGO facilitators noted that CRESNET had benefited greatly 
from the series of workshops. The interaction with police 
officers gave this conflict resolution NGO a better 
appreciation for the challenges facing the Nigerian Police 
Force as it attempts the transition from a force of 
oppression under past military regimes to a force that serves 
the Nigerian citizenry. 
 
 
6. Comment:  This was the first USG venture into promoting 
greater cooperation between the police and communities. 
Tangible results will be some time in coming but, thanks to 
this OTI effort, the stage has been set for continued 
dialogue among the various Lagos police units and community 
organizations that in time will lead to greater community 
trust in the police and, consequently, more effective 
policing. 
 
 
 
 
Jeter 

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