According to some series of tweets by Nigeria Police Force on Twitter, they revealed some tips for safe and cordial relationship at checkpoints. @PoliceNG is the official Twitter handle of the Nigeria Police Force.
This may go a long way in ensuring you’re on the right side of the equation in case you have an encounter with them.
Below are the tips;
When approaching a security checkpoint or when flagged-down by the Police or other security agencies;
1. Endeavor to slow down your vehicle. It shows that you are not reckless. It also douses suspicion that you are a criminal and may want to speed-off.
2. Turn down the volume of your car stereo. Courtesy demands this. Besides, you are able to hear each other better. This simple act will also help you to win the confidence of the security operative.
3. Keep your hands visible to avoid unnecessary suspicion or fear by the officers that you are attempting to bring out a gun or other harmful objects to attack them
4. Turn on the inner light of your vehicle while approaching the cops (if at night). It readily sends an unspoken message that you have nothing to hide.
5. Be friendly and cheerful. Commend the officers especially when you see them working under very unfriendly weather conditions such as the rains, the harsh harmattan conditions, excessive heat, cold or sunshine. We know it’s their job, but a little kind word from you will do a lot of good. Remember when you smile at the mirror, the mirror smiles back at you.
6. Endeavor to be polite even when answering questions put to you by the officers
7. Don’t dare or challenge an armed security man to a duel. Oftentimes, you hear people say things like ‘shoot me, if you can!” Note that this is a recipe for disaster! It is very provocative and an unnecessary call for war. So, please play safe, more so, as you do not know the state of mind of the officer concerned.
8. Also, don’t go into a physical fight with an armed security officer. He may resort to the use of his weapon (rightly or wrongly) to defend himself.
9. Avoid unnecessary argument with armed security personnel.
There are a thousand and one ways to seek redress where you feel your rights have been infringed upon.
10. Never try to touch an officer in an unfriendly manner. He may suspect you of trying to disarm him
11. If you are a regular traveler or road user, make sure you have the police emergency phone numbers of the route you operate. You never can tell when an emergency situation could arise and you need the Police to come to your aid.
12. Make sure you have all your relevant car papers and desist from actions or inactions that constitute either a criminal or traffic offence. Such infractions of the law provide veritable grounds for possible charges and other forms of adversarial contact with the Police or other law enforcement agencies, including unnecessary arguments.
13. Give the impression that you are unhappy to see an officer on his beat or that he is wasting your time. But if you do have an emergency, politely inform the officer. Don’t speed off while still being checked.
14. Take note of the name tags, Force or Service numbers, personal description, description of weapons or patrol vehicle of the security officer especially where the officers begin to conduct themselves in unprofessional manner.
15. Seek audience with the most senior police officer at the check point if things are not working out smoothly.
16. Politely insist to be taken to the police station if your complaint is not properly addressed.