The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols.
Penpushing reports that, the order was contained in a statement made available by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba on Sunday, adding that the affected squads are also to desist from operating in other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks with immediate effect.
The statement added that, in addition, no personnel of the force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti, emphasizing that, they must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.
The police boss directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under the guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.
Penpushing further reports that, Adamu specifically warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices, stressing that they are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.
‘The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country. He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads’, the statement said.
‘He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers on the road. They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the Force’.
The police chieftain has equally warned that henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad(FSARS), Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any misconduct within their Area of Responsibility (AOR).
Penpushing also reports that,the statement added that, he therefore charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.