The new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Usman Belel says his mandate is to among other responsibilities, rid the State of illegal fire arms.
Belel, in his maiden media briefing, held at the Police Officer’s Mess in Port Harcourt, said intelligence reports has it that there is infiltration of small arms in Rivers.
He said the responsibility of mopping up arms in every corner of the State could be achieved with the help of members of the community, adding that the presence of large cache of arms was responsible for the heightened crime in the State.
He also pledged to be apolitical in carrying out his duties, just as he warned officers of the Command not to engage in corrupt practices.
Belel was transferred from Zamfara to serve as the thirty-ninth Commissioner of Police in Rivers State after taking over from CP Zaki Ahmed.
According to him, “It has been brought to my knowledge that the major problem across the state has been an orgy of violence unleashed on the populace by non state actors who have access to illegal firearms. These lethal weapons have been used used to kill, maim and rob victims; this situation is most unfortunate.
“We shall be very unrelenting in our efforts to clampdown on cult group, organised criminal gangs and unlicensed firearm holders, to recover such unlawful weapons.
“Clearly, violent crimes such as Armed Robbery, kidnapping and murder are all associated with cultism. To this end, therefore, the command under my watch shall fight these crimes to a conclusive end.
”Rivers State shall not be conducive anymore for criminals. We shall be proactive in our policing. We shall embark on regular raids of criminal hideouts, the ban on the road blocks is still in force but I shall put in place decent stop and search mechanism which shall aid us in tracking kidnappers and armed robbers with the sole aim of recovering stolen properties.
“I am going to ensure that innocent persons are not detained unlawfully and denied their liberty. Every complaint of corrupt practice shall be investigated and persons found culpable shall be sanctioned.”