No fewer than 32 policemen have been killed in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria by armed robbers during gun battle within the space of 11 months.
This represents an increase over the number of policemen killed in gun battle with robbers last year, which was 19.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko released the statistics on Tuesday at the 6th Town Hall Meeting on Security held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The statistics revealed that between 1 November, 2011 and 31 October, 2012, 32 policemen were killed by robbers while the police also killed 140 robbers in the process of gun battle, which represents a shortfall in the number of robbers killed by the police between November 2010 and October 2011, which was 164.
The statistics also showed increased robbery cases in Lagos, with 123 armed robbery incidents recorded in the last 11 months ending in October as against the 61 robbery cases that took place in the previous year.
The police arrested 569 robbers in 11 months, higher than the 522 robbers arrested the previous year, while more arms have been recovered this year (371 arms) than last year, which stood at 328.
Armed robbers have been using more sophisticated ammunition as 26,058 of them were recovered in the last 11 months as against 3,553 recovered the previous year.
The statistics showed that 954 vehicles were recovered from robbers this year, fewer than the 1,187 recovered the previous year.
Also, 1,263 vehicles were stolen in Lagos in 11 months, less than the 1,448 stolen in the previous year.
Under the period being reviewed, the police foiled 418 armed robbery cases, less than the 426 robbery cases foiled the previous year.
The statistics revealed that 270 people were murdered in Lagos in the last 11 months as against 319 people murdered the previous year.
According to Manko, the challenge being faced was that as crime was being tackled by the police, criminals naturally attempted to evolve new trends and patterns of crime.
“The new trend in Lagos State is the vandalisation and attack on ATM, car jacking and the menace of commercial motorcycle operators. The command has risen up to the challenge by evolving new strategies to combat the menace but dearth of funds and logistics continue to hamper our efforts,” he stated.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Babatunde Fashola lamented that the challenge of equipping “and resourcing our security agencies in the face of the insufficient support from the Federal Government has continued till this day”.
He disclosed that the government, through the Security Trust Fund has provided logistics valued at N8.7 billion for the police and other security agencies in the state.