The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has barred operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) from providing security protection for Very Important Persons (VIPs).
The police chief also asked them to stop conducting ‘stop-and-search on roads, involvement in civil matters including land disputes, personal disputes, debt collection and other civil issues.
He added that all operatives of the anti-robbery unit of his organization must henceforth always appear in official unit clearly marked for identification.
The police chief, who said this during a meeting with SARS commanders at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Friday, added that the Nigeria Police Force under his leadership was worried by the clamour by some Nigerians that the unit be scrapped.
According to him, they are only allowed to conduct stop-and-search operation on roads when necessary.
He added that such operation must be with the permission of Commissioner of SARS or Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the commands they are answerable to.
Any operation conducted by the operatives, according to the police boss, must be in a “non-discriminatory, proportional, fair and accountable manner.”
The measures, he said, were as a result of the police administration’s response to the yearnings and demands of modern policing.
“In demonstration of good faith to the aspiration of the Nigerian populace, I have given mandate to the IGP’s Monitoring Units and ‘X’ Squad and other oversight units of the Force to monitor the activities of the SARS operatives, while in the same vein, citizens are encouraged to avail the police ways to improve SARS operations across the nation,” he added.