Police Launch 'Neighbourhood Watch' in Computer Village

To further combat criminal activities in the largest African ICT market, the Computer Village Ikeja, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ikeja division, Imohimi Edgal (CSP), has launched Community Safety Partnerships during his visit to Ogunbiyi Communities recenly, even as he assured on 90% crime reduction in the said market.

The safety Partnership, according to him is to enhance the community policing earlier launched in Ikeja in September last year, in line with the Inspector General of Police 2nd Point Agenda which is the prevention and reduction of violent crimes and other forms of criminality through community policing, intelligence-led policing and partnerships.

He expressed optimism that the security partnership initiative when put in place would enhance cooperation between the police and the community and also boost productive relationship between the police and Ikeja community in general.

"My community visit to Ogunbiyi community today is aimed at enhancing the relationship already existing between you and the police, by engaging in consultations with the community and thereby creating a clearer understanding of shared problems; expectations and needs," he stated, adding that there must be a greater community input in crime prevention and control with it's attendant numerous benefits.

Quoting a community survey from the police division in 2009 and 2010, CSP Edgal said that the crime rate in Ikeja had reduced by over 60 percent, which he attributed to increased community partnerships in fighting crime.

He noted that the informal policing sector particularly the neighborhood watch and Vigilante groups are now more active and work in partnership with the police, pointing out that the communities in the area now volunteer information more willingly to the police courtesy of the partnership.

"The biggest judge of police performance is the community that it serves. That is why I am here not only to solicit your continued support but also for you to objectively access the performance of the police in Ikeja and identify new problem area that we can jointly tackle using the strategy of community safe partnership which I intend to introduce here today," he stated.

He however, used the occasion to inform the community of the five new patrol vehicles recently allocated Ikeja Division, under the seven cities crime prevention and control scheme of the federal government.

Responding, the Ogunbiyi Community Development Association, and Community Development Council Chairman, Ikeja Local Government Oloye Osinubi described the introduction of the community safety partnership as the best thing to have in the market and an initiative that is coming at the right time.

He further assured the police of their preparedness to support the initiative, which he said would put them on a better stead to flush out criminal elements in the area.

On the roadside traders, the CDA Chairman, said punitive measures had already been put in place to discourage people from selling on the street, and promised that the market will soon be crime free.
It would recalled that Computer Village is a small area of roughly six square kilometres bordering Ikeja's Government Reservation Area (GRA), Anifowose, Awolowo Way and Agege motor road. This small area is regarded as Africa's largest I.T market both in terms of population of traders and customers as well as the sheer volume of transactions that takes place there.

This market is extremely popular for people looking for cheaper alternatives for computers, mobile phones camcorders, digital cameras and other digital and electronic devices. Hence it is a beehive of activities on all days of the week except on Sundays and public holidays.

The market is home to mostly mobile phone and computer dealers but also has the presence of technicians specializing in repair and maintenance of faulty mobiles phones and computers. There are also dealers in accessories such as mobile phone accessories like batteries, chargers, memory cards, LCDs among other phone components other dealers may sell computer components especially mother boards, batteries and monitors.

Another set of dealers in this market are people providing auxiliary services such as petty traders who sell edible items, pirated softwares, Movie DVDs and musicals and used mobile phones, memory cards etc. not forgetting technicians who like to call themselves engineers.

You can have any mobile phone, laptop or digital camera repaired here as most of the 'engineers' are quite good at what they although they are often exploitative so be prepared to haggle with them over their fees.   

Source: Vanguard

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