The Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command, Mr Ene Okon who disclosed this in Umuahia on Monday while briefing newsmen on the arrests of over 78 suspected criminals across the state, maintained that since kidnappers take their victims to the forests before making demands, hunters who access these forests should be engaged to partner with the police in order to make the communities safe.
He disclosed that the move is part of the strategy of the police to flush out criminals who hide in the forests to unleash mayhem on the society; emphasizing that the approach was part of the community policing method being encouraged by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to restore sanity in all communities of Nigeria.
In the meantime, Okon revealed that the tactic has so far yielded some dividends as some hunters recently helped the police to arrest two kidnap suspects in an undisclosed forest in the state.
In another development, the commissioner said a total of 78 crime suspects and a total number of 127 arms and ammunition have been seized by the police. According to him, the suspects include 25 kidnap suspects, 28 armed robbery suspects and 25 suspected cult members across the state.
The CP Okon opined that the police made the feat as a result of the cooperation of members of the public, adding that the majority of the arrests were made following some tips off by patriotic Nigerians.
He commended the IGP for introducing the Puff Adder as a crime-fighting strategy, saying that the policy was a paradigm shift from traditional policing to community policing. This, he informed, has made community leaders, vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch, hunters and market leaders to be involved in crime fighting across the state.
Answering a question, Okon said that child and women trafficking have been nipped in the bud in the state, attributing the reduction of a baby factory to the surveillance, cooperation of the members of the public and the onslaught on the suspects.
However, some of the suspects interviewed by newsmen admitted committing the crimes but said it was their first time of being involved in criminal activities.