The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says correcting some faulty narratives about the Nigeria Police Force will be instrumental to rebuilding its public image.
The Force has received flak from the Nigerian public for years over the conduct of its officers in enforcing the law.
The misconducts range from harassment, extortion, torture and, sometimes, extra-judicial murder of Nigerians.
While speaking at the opening ceremony of a 4-day capacity building workshop for police public relations officers in Awka, Anambra State on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, Adamu said the image of the Force must be rebranded.
The Police boss admitted that certain indiscretions and perceived inactions by some officers, as well as the security challenges in some parts of the country, impact negatively on the image of the Force.
However, he said spokespersons must work hard to correct some uninformed perceptions of the Force as its image is important to its effectiveness in fighting crime.
He said, "The Workshop is part of my administration's commitment to the enhancement of capacity of officers whose primary responsibility it is to manage the image and information dissemination process towards repositioning the Nigeria Police and changing the uninformed perceptions and faulty narratives about the Nigeria Police Force.
"This is with a view to rebranding the Force, advancing our fortunes, and restoring our primacy within the internal security architecture of the Nation.
"Unarguably, certain indiscretions and perceived inactions by some personnel of the Force as well as the security challenges in some parts of the country impact negatively on the image of the Force.
"This reality coupled with the dynamic nature of crime, rapidly advancing information and communication technology, and the changing policing environment that we deal with in the line of our duty have combined to redefine both the concept of policing and the perception of the police by the citizens.
"Indeed, experts have asserted that there is an intertwining relationship between public perception and the effectiveness of the Police to attain its internal security mandate.
"The import of this, ladies and gentlemen, is that our ability to win over public trust and confidence as a pathway to crime management is precedent on the capacity of you, the officers here seated to rebrand the police and project it positively to the citizens."
The workshop is organised for police spokespersons from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 12 zonal spokespersons, as well as staff officers of the Force Public Relations Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Adamu urged the participants to improve their capacity for optimal performance especially in the area of bridging the gap between the Police and members of the public, and enhancing a people-friendly and community-driven Police Force.
"It is also my expectation that you shall at the end of this programme, imbibe the concept and practice of strategic information management, and develop strong critical thinking ability needed to dissect and manage complex Public Relations challenges in the most professional manner," he said.
He advised them to take advantage of new media and modern technology and ensure timely dissemination and response to issues.