The Edo State Police Command says the process of streamlining activities of vigilante groups in the state has begun.
The need to regulating the groups set up to complimenting effort of the police in fighting insecurity and other crimes in the state is coming after series of complaints of extortion and unprofessional conduct by the vigilante members.
This was disclosed by SP Bello Kontongs, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state while featuring on a local radio station programme which was monitored in Benin.
According to the PPRO, police would soon begin training of the vigilante groups at the Police Training School which he said the state government was renovating to make training conducive.
“Very soon, their training will commence. The governor is still working at the Ogida Police Training School and very soon, maybe by next month, they will start their training. It is only the ones that have been confirmed, those ones that we are sure of their character that will be trained.(sic) That is what is in the pipeline now,” he said.
Kontongs said the Assistant Inspector-General of Police has directed that all vigilante members should be profiled by the Divisional Police Officers in their areas.
He said: “We have directed their leaders to take them to the nearest Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for registration and profiling to ensure that those involved are not cultist and robbers who want to use the opportunity to bring their guns out and molest innocent people, we are not going to allow that.
“If any vigilante member commits any offence in a particular area, we will call the leader in that area to make enquiries, then such a person will be reported to the nearest DPO.
“We are calling on people with genuine intentions to join the vigilante groups and work with us, not those molesting people, not those carrying guns and hiding under the guise of vigilante to be robbing and molesting people, we don’t tolerate that. The essence of the vigilante is to work with the police and the police will supervise them.”