Top 10 functions of the Nigerian Police Force and brief history

Top 10 functions of the Nigerian Police Force and brief history

The Nigerian Police Force is a huge organisation meant to provide security to citizens and protect their interests. Below are the functions of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and how they have helped maintain peace in their country.

Functions of the Nigerian Police Force
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What are the main functions of the Nigerian Police Force? What is the role of this big organisation in controlling crime in the 21st century? Check out the role of Nigerian police in crime prevention and what they are doing to protect modern society.

A brief history of police

The 'police' itself began as a regulating body back in Greece. It was supposed to improve life in the Greek cities, but only during the Roman Empire.

This administration improved and became a real system used as a model for the British and NPF (since Nigeria was invaded by Britain back in 1851 and got its full independence from British rule only in 1960).

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Still, the first group of officers whose main duty was maintaining order and law in Nigeria's territory was organised in our country's eastern regions, which happened even before the invasion of British forces into Lagos.

The first officers began their work sometime in 1820. The highest rank back then was commissioner general colonel KK. The nationalisation of the organisation occurred in the 1960s when Nigeria gained its independence and became a republic.

The changes followed, and the NPF kept developing with improvements following all the modifications. The constitution of 1999 describes the powers and functions of the current Nigeria Police Force.

Top functions of the Nigerian Police Force

What are the major functions of police? Nigerian officers get the power from the constitution mainly to protect the property of citizens and each person's life, prevent crime and enforce the law.

The modern NPF has several hundred thousand members who work in each of the 36 states and are grouped by region. What are the responsibilities of the police? Below are the top 10 major functions of police force in Nigeria.

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1. Crime prevention

The duties of an officer in controlling crime cannot be underestimated. They ensure they have reduced crime, enforced the law, and maintain criminal justice.

2. Protection of lives

This is another top function of the NPF. The life of every citizen of Nigeria is priceless, and thus it has to be protected at all levels. Police officers have to guide their districts and do everything to prevent crimes that can potentially cause human death.

3. Property protection

Nowadays, many people have expensive houses, furniture, jewellery, gadgets, and other costly goods; one of the top functions of the police in modern society is to protect all types of property from thieves and bad people. Therefore, everyone deserves to live a safe life and keep all their belongings.

4. Order preservation

Law and order must be respected and followed in every community. Therefore, Nigerian officers have to preserve order in the district they are responsible for. Only when everyone in the community starts to value law will there be peace, and most crimes will be prevented beforehand.

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5. Offenders arrest

How is it possible to control crime? Police officers arrest those who are offenders, thieves, and anyone who commits illegal acts in public or privately. Officers can only arrest such people but are not allowed to punish them badly.

6. Crime detection

Another important role for officers is to detect crime and do their best to prevent it. Crime detection is an important duty and task of every officer in every state across the country. Each crime must be investigated, and related offenders must be arrested and sent to jail.

7. Military duties

Every representative of the NPF also has to perform all the functions described in the special official document called The Police Act. This Act lists all the organisation's main functions, military duties, and all powers given to the police officers.

8. Prosecutions

Prosecuting people who are thought to have broken the law is the responsibility of the police. Such duty is listed in The Act and has to be performed by police officers in Nigeria.

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9. Person identification

The officers also identify those citizens who are in lawful custody. This means the officers must take pictures of such people, write down their measurements, record their fingerprints, etc. Such procedures have to be done regularly.

10. Search through belongings

It is also the function of the police to search through the person's belongings if the person seems suspicious. The officer has the right to see the documents, any possession or thing carried if they believe that the person might have stolen or got it illegally.

What are the aims and objectives of Nigeria Police Force?

Below are the aims and major objectives of the police force in Nigeria.

  • To collaborate with other relevant security agencies and the public in obtaining, compiling, and sharing information and intelligence to ensure the country's safety and security.
  • Participate in efforts to address the underlying causes of crime while ensuring that any criminal act is thoroughly investigated to bring criminals to justice fairly and professionally.
  • To create an efficient, productive, well-trained, and highly motivated workforce by concerted efforts to improve the capability and well-being of all officers and men in the Force.
  • To create a people-friendly police force that respects and upholds all citizens' fundamental rights.
  • To create a gender-sensitive and gender-friendly police force that gives female officers equal opportunity while acknowledging their differences.

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What are the major responsibilities of the police?

Officers' primary duties include ensuring public order and safety, upholding the law, and preventing, detecting, and investigating illegal activity.

How many units does Nigerian police have?

The Nigeria Police Force is a fairly sizeable organisation comprising 8 administrative organs, 36 State commands, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) divided into 17 zones.

What are the problems facing the police force in Nigeria?

Some of the biggest issues facing the police are poor wages and compensation, inadequate funding, inadequate equipment, a lack of respect, corruption, operational difficulties, and political difficulties.

What is the Nigerian police vision?

Its vision is to make Nigeria safer and more secure for economic development and growth and to provide a safe and secure environment for all Nigerians.

How long can police detain you without charge in Nigeria?

According to section 35 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria's constitution, anyone detained by law enforcement for committing a crime must appear in court within 24-48 hours. Accordingly, a police officer may only hold you for a total of 24 hours.

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These are the main functions of the Nigerian Police Force in modern Nigerian society. It is crucial to learn more about the role of the police in controlling crime and helping each Nigerian feel protected and secured every day.

READ ALSO: JETS Club projects in Nigeria: reasons why they are important recently published an article about the significance of JETS Club projects in Nigeria. Nigerian youth can uncover their creative potential through the Junior Engineers, Technicians, and Scientists (JETS) organisation.

JETS Club projects are implemented in various academic institutions to assist unlock the full potential of the country's youth. Many young people have discovered and exploited their skills due to this programme.


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