Crime Focus

Dos, Don’ts of lodging complaints at police station (I)

 

By Saliu Woru Mohammed

Experience has shown that some members of the public are ignorant of the due process of lodging complaints at the police station. Through ignorance, some regards the police station as a hell, while some unnecessarily jilter or exercise fears for merely mentioning police station.
Sequence to ignorance too, some decides to take the laws into their own hands by resorting to jungle justice when offended.
An aggrieved person can simply go to the nearest police station to lodge his complaints, if he so decides, whatever the case however, complainants can state their grievances to policemen who are always available at the station for twenty-four hours. They are usually headed by an inspector or a police officer called Charge Room Officer (CRO). The Inspector or the most Senior Police Officer in the station at a particular time will listen to the complainants. If the case is criminal in nature, he will accept the case for further investigation and register the complaints in the Station Crime Diary. The complainant will thereafter, be referred to an Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in the Crime branch of the station.
If the case is civil in nature, it will be registered into the station diary and the complainant will be advised to take civil action in court if he so wishes.
It is at the crime branch that the complainant’s written statement will be taken. Before the statement of the complainant is recorded, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) will make sure that he (the complainant) is well composed, both mentally and physical before laying down his case.
The complainant is also expected to come with reliable witness(es) as the case may be (if he has any) who will also be required to submit a written statements of his account of the incident. There is need to assure both the complainants and their witnesses that there is absolute no reason or need to entertain fears as the police will not harass or delay them unduly. Nevertheless, the law of the land requires complainants and witnesses to state the absolute truth which they know of the matter and nothing more.
To be continued next week

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