|IG of Police, Solomon Arase|
The Nigeria Police Force has officially set up a forensic laboratory and digital resource center in Abuja to aid the activities of its criminal Intelligence and investigation department.
Speaking at the commissioning of the new Police Forensic Laboratory and Digital Resource Center at Force headquarters in Abuja, Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Kakwe Christopher Katso, has revealed that the Nigerian Police Force has acquired drones systems for tracking and surveillance of criminals up to a radius of 5 kilometers if necessary.
The DIG who disclosed that the police took the giant step towards curtailing the activities of kidnappers and other robbery gangs, said the acquisition of the drones as well as automated finger print verification systems, together with modern interrogation rooms in compliance with the criminal justice act 2015, are meant to complement the ‘Police Tracking System’ already put in place by the Inspector General of Police.
He noted that the equipment which form the latest state of the art investigative platforms, will make it difficult for terrorists, kidnappers and armed robbers to easily pass through checkpoints and other security points either on the highway, airport or borders.
Katso said suspects can now be stopped, their fingerprints taken and sent to the control room, and within seconds, the details analyzed and transferred back to the checkpoint or police points for immediate action.
According to the DIG, the modern interrogation rooms’ which is a requirement of the current criminal justice act 2015, will prevent a situation where suspects make allegation that they were tortured to give information or whereby after confessing voluntarily to crimes, they get to Court and deny, claiming their action emanated from duress.
Speaking on the drones, Katso said when police respond to distress calls, the aerial surveillance vehicle (UAV, is activated to cover the location through the mobile camera. The mobile camera gives the officers aerial view of the location, the activities of the hoodlums; which enables the police to know where and how to strike.
“Added to this is the construction of a Digital Resource Center with access to over 5million books and materials on policing across the world including INTERPOL for police officers to key into modern policing” he said.
Speaking at the commissioning, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase admitted that the Nigerian Police Force has over the years grappled with weak Forensic Capacity saying it has been a major factor in the forces’ ability to manage complex criminal situations.
He noted however that this challenge will now be a thing of the past, with the completion of the ultra-modern Nigeria Police Forensic Laboratory and Digital Resource Center in Abuja.
Emphasizing that the platform is designed to bridge ‘this capacity’ gap in the force in relation to forensic assets of the force, the IGP said, “The asset being commissioned today is a scientific investigation tool of police departments all over the world. It is also a personal identity management system that the Nigeria Police force ought to have had long before now”.
“With this system, the Nigeria police is not only set to comply with the provisions of the administration of criminal justice act 2015 to capture and remit to the office of the Attorney General, all biometrics of suspected persons arrested by the police but also put the police in a position to key into the presidential directive that all data capturing agencies should harmonize and integrate personal identities captured by such agencies on or before the end of 2016,” Arase said.