Abuja - The Police have said that vigilante groups and neighbourhood watch outfits must register with the Force for them to be recognised to operate.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, an Acting Commissioner of Police, stated this in on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ojukwu said this was necessary to enable the force to regulate the groups’ conduct and activities and ensure that they were in line with the law.
He said that the police recognised the importance and relevance of vigilante groups in crime prevention and resolving unrest if duly registered.
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"We see them as informal policing system and they are quite recognised.
"We want to work with them for various reasons, chief of which is that they understand the communities more than the police; they are members of the communities, so, we need them.
"But we have made it a point of duty that vigilante groups must register with the police so that we can regulate their conduct and activities to be sure that what they do is in line with the law,’’ Ojukwu said.
On the role of vigilante groups in the ongoing war against insurgency in the North-East, Ojukwu said only the military authorities were competent to comment on that.
Speaking on the use of dane guns by vigilante groups, the police spokesman said only hunters used that type of gun, and that the police regulated the use of double barrel short guns.