The objective of this study on “Public Relations: As A tool of Industrial Harmony. A study of Nigeria Police Headquarters Enugu” look into the internal and external problems of Nigeria police and how the police relations officer has succeeded or failed in resolving problems. Problems such as the welfare of the police, its relationship with the public and how the police manage crowd and crisis in Enugu State. To achieve this, survey research method was adopted with questionnaire as the instrument to elicit responses from the respondents. Findings drawn from the study revealed positive that police serving in Enugu faces internal and external problems such as poor salary, poor equipments at home and offices, insufficient accommodation, poor medical care and poor relationship with the publics; which makes it difficult for the police to manage crisis due to inadequate information from the publics. The study therefore recommended that police should stop extortion, bribery and corruption, brutality, aiding and abating crimes because of their position in the society. The publics should contribute positively to give vital information to the police to fight against crisis. The Police Public Relations Department should handle the internal and external problems through their cordial relationship with the press. Finally the government should take serious maintenance of the police in their welfare, so that they would take their work seriously.
1.1 Background of study
According to the 7th edition of Oxford Advance Dictionary, “Public Relations is described as the business of giving the public‟s, information about a particular organization or person in order to create a good impression.”
Following from the description, the police rely upon the general public for minimum level of support to accomplish their mission public information is very vital to the police, because it is a strongly held value in our culture that the informed and educated citizens are the best participants in democratic government.
Alienation exists because the police and society. Attempts have been made to bridge that gap between the police and the citizens. One often hears police officers say that the Community does not understand the role and how to inter-relate with the community.
In the past, police considered themselves as pure administrative officer, enforcing law without discretion. But today police administration recognizes that discretion is an important role. As a result the police officer forgets his exact role in the force, because he uses discretion method.
The Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) must be skilled in the management tool POSDCORB, which means Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting and Budgeting. He does these effectively with the cooperation and supervision of the State Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of police and other senior police officers. Furthermore, the police public relations officer uses the press to enhance good relationship between the public‟s and the Nigeria police Enugu.
Before the independence of Nigeria in 1960, public relations practice was not popular. Economic, social and political awareness program and activities increased the knowledge of public relations.
Public relations practices were introduced into Nigeria from Britain through the vehicle of colonialism. The introduction of public relations practice in Nigeria was done through the initiative of the colonial government and its obedient servants. Being and adjunct of journalism, public relations became an important element in public communication in the colonial days. The pioneers were already enjoying patronage of the people and those in government. The government felt the need for another branch of communication which would convey subtly, its feelings to the people without really going through the rigors of metal composition of communicative acts, during the Second World War (1940), the government urge for more channels of communication. It became more pronounced,
especially in the need to present and analyze information about the war. This eventually led the government to establish an office of information.
The British decided to employ the tactics of public relations through mobile cinemas, posters, television programs. These programs were aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on what they were doing for the benefit of the nation as well as what the colonialist expected of Nigerians in return.
Since that time, public relations have been recognized as a profession in Nigeria and in other West Africa States. In 1949 United Africa Company became the first company to have public information unit. This is followed by the establishment of public relations unit by the Samuel Epelle served as the first public relations officer.
In 1963, the Nigerian institute of public relation (NIPR) was established as a regulatory body for PR practice in Nigeria.
The lack of adequate knowledge of public relations, as a career and the absence of its programs for understanding its practice hindered its growth in Nigerian organizations. Until recently when the Federal Republic of Nigeria promulgated Decree No. 16 of June, 1990 which upheld the practice of public relations in Nigeria.
The origin of the Police is a product of social crisis in the society. The word police is derived from the Greek word “polis” meaning that part of non
ecclesiastical administration, having to do with safety and order of the state. Police work did not start as a paid profession. It started as a noble, incorruptible profession with considerable responsibility and distinction. It was the justice of the peace system in the society.
The Nigeria, Police began with a thirty-member consul guard formed in Lagos colony is 1861, a 1,200-member armed paramilitary Hausa constabulary was formed.
In 1896 the Lagos police was established. A similar force, the Niger coast constabulary was formed in Calabar in 1984 under the newly proclaimed Niger coast protectorate. In the north, the Royal Niger Company set up the Royal Niger company constabulary in 1888 with headquarters at Lokoja. When the protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria were proclaimed in the early 1900s, part of the Royal Niger Company constabulary became the Northern Nigerian police, and part of the Niger coast constabulary became the Southern Nigeria police. Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated in 1914, but their police force (NPF) in lagos. During the colonial period, most police were associated with local government (native authorities). In the 1960s, under the First Republic, these forces were first regionalized and then nationalized.
The 1960 constitution established the Nigerian force as a Federal force charged with the responsibility for maintenance of law and order throughout
Nigeria. The command of the Nigerian police force was under the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Those of the regions were under the command of commissioners of police. Recently the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) dropped the “force” in its name and now answers Nigeria Police (Nigeria police is grouped into departments A-F. “A” department takes care of administration, personnel-promotion, dismissal, transfer, posting, medical budgeting, accounts, public relations and printing. “B” department to “F” have their own respective duties our major concern is “A” department where public relations belongs. There we look into the administration of police department.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Public relations practice, utilizes communication skills and strategies, in order to establish and maintain the several positive linkages among human beings, in the context of society to minimize and eliminate the negative attitudes and behavior.
If the citizens do not trust the police, they will not talk to them. They would avoid police contact therefore, if distrust causes avoidance and failure to communicate, the implications for the police organization are really very dramatic. Citizens will not report crime. They will not give statements to officers who are investigating crimes and they will not testify in court.
When the police organization views the community, it has sworn to protect as a dangerous place full of people who are criminals. The police will be carefully guided when they have contact with the citizens they are expected to be protecting.
This study will look into the internal and external problems of the Nigeria police and how the police public relations officer has succeeded or failed in resolving problems. Problems such as the welfare of the police, its relationship with the public and how the police manage crowd and crisis in Enugu; would be treated.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study are as follows to:
1. Know the general welfare of the police in Enugu state.
2. Deal with the crime preventions and brutality by the police in Enugu state.
3. Determine how cordial the relationship between the police and press in Enugu state exist.
4. Ascertain how police handle crowd and crisis management in Enugu state.
1.4 Research Questions
1. To what extent do the poor living conditions and welfare of the police affect their performance?
2. To what extent do the police brutality and extortion damage their image to the public?
3. How cordial is the relationship between the police and the press?
4. To what extent do the Nigeria police effectively handle crowd and crisis management?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: there is no significant difference (p<0.5) between the responses of senior and junior staff of the Nigeria police concerning the poor welfare of the staff. Ho2: there is no significant difference (p<0.5) between the junior and senior staff of the Nigeria police as to the damage of their image over brutality and corruption. Ho3: No significant difference exist between the senior staff and junior staff (p<0.5) of the Nigeria police over cordial. Ho4: There is no significant difference (p<0.5) between the senior staff and junior staff of Nigeria police concerning effectively crowd and crisis management in Enugu. 1.6 Scope and the limitation of study The areas this study covers are problems facing the Nigeria police, Problems like poor welfare, communication, accommodation and how they relate with the general public and the press, innocent citizens, deviants and criminals in Enugu state. The police public relation officer is located in Police headquarters Enugu secretariat. 1.7 Significance of study Public relations creates an understanding through effective communication between the organization, its officers and the public. This study will help the management to resolve crisis through maintaining effectively public relations. Conditions of living and service will improve reducing bribery, corruption and extortion of fifty naira (#50.00) on the road. Further beneficiaries are the public and the press. The masses will understand how hard the police are working and cooperate with them in combating crime. The media will be used in sanitizing, educating and mobilizing the public towards police efforts to polices the effectively. Through the research findings, it would point out the plight of the Nigeria police and take steps to improve their conditions of living. If these observations are taken into consideration, the image, reputation, respect, trust and dignity of the police will be restored, making it possible and easy for future research to do it better. 1.8 Definition of Terms Public relations: the activity of keeping good relationship between an organization and the public. Tool: An item of equipment that helps in a particular activity. Industrial Harmony: When people are peaceful and agree with one another or to make different people plans, situation suitable. Police: the official organization that is responsible for protecting people and property. Making people to obey the law, finding out about and solving crimes and catching people who have committed a crime. Headquarters: The main office of an organization such as the police, army or a business company.