Is this the end of police harassment, rights abuse and bribe taking?

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is finally tired of the negativity that trails the mention of its name.

Widely notorious for being inefficient, corrupt and sometimes inhumane, the force has launched a scheme to re-brand and change this negative image to something positive.

Force spokesperson, Abayomi Shogunle, who spoke on Thursday, said the NPF launched a Complaints Response Unit (CRU) with the sole aim of using: “cutting edge technology to combat crime and address complaints of the citizens”.

“CRU will deal with complaints against police professional misconduct. It will open up a channel of communication between the police and the Nigerian community,” he told Nigeria Info radio.

Complaints can now be sent by disgruntled citizens via emails and social media platforms, directly to the Inspector General of Police’s inbox.

Sogunle explained further: “Disciplinary action will be taken against any erring officer after investigation is carried out and the complainant will be given a feedback on the action taken.”

He revealed that the CRU which is the police force watchdog, would ensure that every officer does what is expected.

Nigeria’s police have over the years been dubbed as impolite, poorly equipped and not properly trained. Human rights abuses, bribe taking and corruption are other vices constantly linked with the force.

A September 2014 report by Amnesty International revealed that torture had become so normal in Nigeria’s criminal justice system that some police stations even have designated officers in charge of the practice.

With the advent of CRU, one can only hope all these would change.

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