Police authorities have scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in all states across the country.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has consequently directed all Commissioners of Police to comply with the directive with immediate effect and to warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives, henceforth.
The move formed part of the re-organisation of the elite unit announced today by the IGP.
The IGP’s decision followed overwhelming calls on social media for the scrapping of SARS on account of its nefarious activities.
The responsibilities of SARS are now to be handled by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) to be headed by a commissioner of police.
The IGP further added that the FSARS would now exist and operate in the state and zonal commands under the Commissioner of Police at the Force Headquarters.
According to a statement by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, IGP also ordered the investigation of all infractions, allegations and complaints against the operatives of the squad by the IGP X-Squad.
The statement noted that the SARS had been doing well curbing violent crimes but expressed concern over the calls for its disbandment.
The police boss said the unit would be re-organised and re-positioned for efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians.
The statement reads: “Under the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.
“The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminality in their area of responsibility and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties.
“A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police and not below Superintendent of Police will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the country.”
According to the statement, the X-Squad has been mandated to go round the commands and police formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any errant police officer.
The statement further says that a new training programme to be organised in collaboration with some civil society organisations, local and international groups and human rights organisations on police duties and human rights for all FSARS personnel nationwide is in the making.
The force has however asked anyone with complaints against SARS personnel to report through any of the following channels for investigation and further actions:
IGP X-Squad: 0902 690 0729 – Calls; 0903 227 8905 – SMS; 0903 562 1377 – WhatsApp
FORCE PUBLIC COMPLAINT BUREAU
08088450152 Calls/SMS/what’s app; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Twitter: @Policing; www.facebook.com/ngpolice
PUBLIC COMPLAINT RAPID RESPONSE UNIT (PCRRU)
08057000001 – Calls Only
08057000002 – Calls Only
08057000003 – SMS & WhatsApp only; Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU and www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU