|Wikileaks:||View 01ABUJA1951 at Wikileaks.org|
|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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