Lagos - Amid the hue and cry of the
residents of Lagos State over the increasing spate of crime, especially
gridlock robberies, the Police have increased their patrols on major roads to
curb the menace.
It is known that the criminals who rob motorists and
commuters in traffic jams are most times people who pretend to be hawkers of
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it is
important to note that some causes of traffic robberies are the ripple effects
of motorists’ indiscipline, impatience and selfishness.
Investigations by the police have revealed how traffic
hawkers turn to robbers at night and connive with commercial motorcycle
operators as get-away after forcefully dispossessing their victims of
The investigations according to the Lagos State Commissioner
of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, showed that some of the arrested traffic robbers
had an organised group.
They have a place where they assemble to get their briefings
from their gang leaders before they are distributed to various locations in the
state to commit the heinous act, the commissioner disclosed.
The police have also enumerated some of the tactics the
robbers employed during their operations to include, tapping at motorists’ side
windows and showing them their guns to instil fear in them.
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Then they demand that motorists or his passengers hand over
their valuables which they make away with.
They latest of their tricks is to disguise as policemen on
duty and flag down vehicles and demand for its particulars.
Whether they find anything wrong with the vehicle’s
documents or not, they order you to go with them to the police station only to
divert their victim to an unknown destination to kidnap him.
Afterwards, they ask the victim to call any of his or
relation and they will demand for ransom.
In a move to checkmate these ugly developments and fight
crime generally, the police have increased their patrols, especially with the
recently introduced "Safer Highways Patrol’’.
A Correspondent of NAN reports that the presence of
policemen on the highways and even streets, especially in areas prone to
gridlocks are visible.
NAN observed that the Operation Safer Highways Patrol teams
have coordinated their patrols in a way that the traffic won’t prevent the
officials from doing their job.
They are now seen on motorcycles monitoring traffic on some
dual carriage ways like the Lagos/Abeokuta expressway, usually between Oja-Oba
and Ile-epo area of Abule-Egba, where the traffic is intense.
While the patrol vehicle with its team keep parading the
side of the road where traffic is moving, some policemen are seen walking
through the side where there is traffic jam.
At Ikeja Under-Bridge close to the ConOil filling station,
some policemen are stationed there as from 8.30 p.m. to monitor the traffic.
Others go on random patrol on motorcycles to the bridge
close to the Computer Village.
Also along Abattoir, Oko-Oba/Agege axis, the Operation Safer
Highways patrol team are stationed at the other side of the road, while
policemen monitor the traffic for hoodlums trying to cash in on the situation.
They also enforce discipline by arresting vehicles driving
NAN recalls that the Owoseni had on Thursday assured
residents of the state of police continuous effort to improve on the strategies
emplaced in crime and traffic management.
Owoseni said that as a result of police swift response to
distress calls, 21 suspects were arrested between September and October in
connection with armed robbery cases.
Out of the number, he said that 13 were specifically in
connection with traffic robberies.
He added that the various items stolen from the victims were
recovered and returned to the victims as some of the hoodlums were caught in
the act due to the intelligence and surveillance by policemen.
The commissioner also said that some other measures had been
put in place to curb traffic robbery and with more overwhelming presence of the
police on the streets.
"The command is working towards dislodging the assembly of
the hoodlums and other criminals in the state,’’ Owoseni said.
He condemned the indiscipline of some motorists who got
carried away while pressing their phone which had a ripple effect on traffic
He urged Nigerians to shun reporting crime first on the
social media, advising that the right thing to do was to report first to the
nearest police station.
The commissioner noted that doing so would help the police
in preventing further occurrence.