IGP orders re-organisation of SARS nationwide

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Following a campaign launched online to end operations of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has ordered that the squad be reorganised. Members of the public had complained online and shared the negative experiences they had with SARS personnel. The Police Chief also ordered an instant

investigation into all the allegations and complaints levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force. With the reorganisation, the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations would now be headed by a Commissioner of Police.

To also bring sanity into the Force, the IGP also directed that all SARS personnel undergo immediate training. This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Monday by the Force Spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood. The statement reads: “The Nigeria Police Force has observed the recent trends of event in the Social Media on the #ENDSARSNOW and the controversy being generated by the innuendos from the allegations and other misconceptions as it concerns the Operational roles and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force. “Undoubtedly, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have been doing very well in fighting violent crimes such as Armed Robbery, Kidnappings and Cattle Rustling in the country in the recent time and this has resulted in drastic reduction of incidents of the mentioned violent crimes nationwide.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris concerned with public interest and the need to reposition the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operates based on International Core Value of Policing with integrity and make sure the rule of law prevails in the operations and activities of the outfit, the IGP has directed the immediate re-organization of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.

On some of the measures taken to reorganize the Squad, the police said: “In the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja. “The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their Area of Responsibilities, and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties in their Area of responsibilities (AOR).

“Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters. “A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the Country.” The IG also directed CPs to comply with the new directive with immediate effect asking them to warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives. The IGP X-Squad have also been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any erring police officer.

On the training for the personnel, Moshood said: “A new training program to be organized by the Force in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Local and International NGOs, and other Human Rights Organizations on core Police Duties, Observant of Human Rights and Handling, Care and Custody of Suspects have been directed by the Inspector General of Police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect”. Members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country have also been asked to report through the IGP X-Squad, Force Public Complaint Bureau and Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit for appropriate action.

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