8 Functions of the Nigerian Police Force avails you of the History of the Nigeria Police Force as well as the Functions of the Nigeria Police Force.
History of the Nigeria Police Force
The Nigerian Police Force was established in 1820 by the British colonial government. A unit called the Lagos Police was established in 1896 and something almost similar in Calabar called the Niger Coast Constabulary in 1894. For the northern part of Nigeria, the Royal Niger Company established the Royal Niger Constabulary in 1888.
At the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914, part of the Niger Coast Constabulary became Southern Nigerian Police while the Northern Nigerian Police was formed by part of the Royal Niger Constabulary.
During colonial rule, the police were mostly associated with native authorities which in the present dispensation are referred to as local governments.
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After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the Police Forces were made regional and later made to become one national body.
As at the first republic, the standard duties of the police included providing general internal security; providing support for the prison, customs services, and immigration; and engaging in military activities within or without the borders of Nigeria as directed.
In 1980, the federal government planned to expand the Police Force to 200,000. But judging by the budgetary provision at that time, the strength of the force was estimated to be about 152,000 personnel.
There were about 1,300 police stations throughout the country. It is interesting to note that officers of the Nigerian Police were not always issued weapons unless required for specific circumstances or missions.
Also, officers could be deployed to any part of the country. However, in 1989, the then military president, General Babangida instructed that most officers be deployed to their native areas to enhance police-community relations.
As new governments unfolded, the Nigerian Police Force kept evolving, growing in strength and in mandate.
Functions of the Nigeria Police Force
The functions of the Nigerian Police are listed below.
1. The prevention of crime
The Nigerian Police Force has as its prime duty the prevention of crime in Nigerian society.
2. The protection of lives
The Nigerian Police Force is also saddled with protecting the lives of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in Nigeria. The force is to do everything possible to prevent incidences capable of causing human death.
3. The protection of Property
NPF is also mandated to protect all types of property from thieves.
4. Maintain Order in the society
Men and women of the Nigerian Police Force are to see to the maintenance or preservation of law and order in their districts of service.
5. Arrest Offenders
The police cannot always prevent crime. Hence, it is mandated to arrest anyone who commits theft or other illegal acts in private or in public. It is however not permitted to mete out heavy punishment.
6. Detection of crime
The police also have the duty of detecting crime before it is carried out. When a crime is detected on time, it can be prevented. Persons caught in a conspiracy of a crime are to be prosecuted and duly punished.
7. Prosecution of suspects is one of the Functions of the Nigeria Police Force
The Police have as their duty the prosecution persons suspected of breaking the law. This is one of the statutory responsibilities of the Nigerian Police Force.
8. Search through belongings
The Nigerian Police Force is granted permission to search through the belongings of a person suspected of unlawful tendencies.