By NBF News
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Seme Police Division has won the 2010 edition of the Altus Police Station Visitors' Week (PSVW).

It is the best police station in Nigeria as well as Africa. At the continental level, the station clinched the first position after scoring 96.0 per cent, followed by Housing Bodija Housing Estate police station, Ibadan, Oyo State, which scored 93.7 per cent.

Badagry police station came third, having scored 92.3 per cent.

Nima police station, Accra, Ghana, scored 88.0 per cent to occupy the fourth position, while Osu police station, also in Accra, Ghana, came fifth, with 85.0 per cent in its kitty. It was also the same grade that put Seme police station ahead of other 134 police stations in Nigeria. The same grades scored by Bodija Housing Estate and Badagry police stations, respectively at the continental level, were used in determining their positions at the local level.

With the outcome of the recent assessment, Seme police station has displaced Ilupeju Police Division, which had maintained the first position since the inception of PSVW in 2006. The visit was organized between 18 and 24 of October 2010, across Africa and around the world. A total of 21 countries, with more than 35 police organizations, and more than 61 partner organizations participated at the global level. One thousand, two hundred and forty-nine(1,249) police stations received about 6293 citizens during the visit, while eight African countries participated in the 2010 exercise. About 852 took part in Africa.

The African/Nigerian version was organized by CLEEN Foundation, in collaboration with other civil society organizations like, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria(NOPRIN), Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Women's Rights Advancement and Protections (WRAPA), Transition Monitoring Group, Community Policing Partnership Forum, Abak, government agencies such as the Ministry of Police Affairs and the National Human Rights Commission.

According to the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, a total of 135 police stations in Nigeria participated in the 2010 PSVW. All the police stations that took part were drawn from Akwa Ibom, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Imo, Lagos, Oyo and Rivers States. 'Four hundred and thirty-five citizens of Nigeria participated in the exercise from different age groups, state, educational, social status and professional backgrounds were involved in the visits,' Chukwuma said.

He explained that PSVW was designed to promote accountability, transparency and accessibility of the police by and to people. It also seeks to inspire improvement, by facilitating interaction between the police and the people they police, through a common dialogue. He said: 'The overall global nature of the visit also provides governments, police leadership and civil society actors, to draw from best practices from around the world and to strengthen police reform initiatives in their domestic jurisdictions.'

Another reason for the PSVW is to enable visitors identify certain good practices that have been evolved by police stations in their local communities and probably, identify the impact of those good practices in the service delivery, being generated by the police to member of the public.

As Chukwuma noted, the visitors were also required to identify areas of improvement which the police have designed to ensure effective service to the public. 'The visitors are also required to note down if any exist, DPOs that deserve commendations, those that distinguished themselves from others in terms of performance and innovation.'

The selected police stations were judged by community orientation, physical conditions, equal treatment of the public without bias based on gender, ethnicity, nationality, minority status or sexual orientation, transparency and accountability and detention conditions. The Executive Director explained that the Visitors' Week seeks to assess police conduct, through a common and basic protocol employed by ordinary citizens, in order to enhance its accountability to the civilian populace they serve.

Chukwuma noted that like the previous editions, the 2010 visits were guided by a single standardized visitor's kit, designed by Altus and consisted of 20 questions tailored to elicit information and score the various police stations visited. The Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) of Seme and Bodija Housing Estate stations, Mike Opete, Tajudeen Olawuwo, respectively were present to receive their awards. The DPO of Badagry was represented by Samson Okedusi.

All of them expressed joy for being considered for the award, adding that it would spur them to perform better.