THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has said close-circuit television (CCTV) can not checkmate the activities of ‘one-chance’ criminal gangs in the city.
Speaking on Thursday, June 15 at The ICIR Twitter space dialogue titled, ‘One-Chance: Abuja, Hotbed for Crimes on Commuters’, Aruwa Thomas, Head of Abuja Intelligent Integrated Traffic Information System (AIITIS), a department of Traffic Management, FCT Transportation Secretariat, said the police had tried the CCTV system for tracking criminals, but thieves carted the cameras away.
Thomas said, “You remember the time past when the police mounted CCTV. You recall that all of a sudden, these CCTV got missing. Those CCTV were very expensive. We thought that as beautiful as CCTVs are, you have to hide them to provide security.
“I know that the government is working on something. I might not talk much about that. Even the Transport Secretariat is bringing up something that if you even need to steal it, it will be useless.”
He disclosed that the FCTA was making efforts to integrate all commercial vehicles in the city and give them codes so they could be easily tracked.
He blamed overpopulation for the transportation crisis in the city.
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Sharing his experience, Investigations Editor, HumAngle, Kunle Adebajo, said it was unfortunate the one-chance menace persisted in the city four years after he published an investigation into the problem.
Adebajo said that given the techniques criminals deploy in their trade, the transport system was no longer safe in the country.
“When the victims are lucky enough to be taken to the hospital, the hospital will ask for a police report, he said, adding, “I don’t think the police is doing enough. There are a lot of ways to deal with these problems.
“When I talked to the police, they said they had a rapid response. Sometimes, these guys will drive by, the police will not arrest them. Even the victims will scream, and help will not come their way from the police. The police can do more.”
A reporter with The ICIR, Theophilus Adedokun, shared his experience on how he fell victim to one-chance, including his investigation which exposed the strategies the criminals use, the pains they inflict on their victims, and the losses the victims suffer, including being killed when they protest being robbed of their possessions.
One of the contributors, Ogechi Odegbunam, narrated how challenging it is for the robbers’ victims to engage security agents to track their items.
Odegbunam said she once attempted to obtain a police report after falling victim to one chance, and the police demanded N80,000 from her.
The spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, Josephine Adeh, a deputy superintendent of police, failed to show up at the meeting, despite getting an invitation from The ICIR.