by Alexander O. Onukwe
While most people only hear about jail breaks in America from movies, jail breaks from Police custody is very much part of the reality in Nigeria.
The pattern of jail breaks range from those assisted from within, by the cooperation of police officers, or from police stations being overwhelmed by external forces. As is the case with many police posts around the country, especially in the North East, the Police are also as vulnerable to attack and sabotage as the civilians they are supposed to protect.
Jail breaks are a bit different from the attacks from terrorists. There is a greater level of control and there are measures that can be taken to improve the vigilance. The use of technology is inevitable to raise the level of responsibility in officers, to keep them accountable for the suspects and criminals in their custody.
Can the Nigeria Police afford to fit CCTVs in its stations and cells? There is no reason why it should not if the Government is committed to raising the standards of security in the country. The physical structures of Police departments around the country do not look like the most formidable places, so that may be a place to begin from before the issue of surveillance equipment and technologically automated gate-keeping.
Whichever way, it is important for those investments to begin to be made into the force, for the sake of the officers’ security and for the security of the wider society.