13 November 2012

Rwanda: Police Seeks Media Support in Crime Prevention

The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, has urged the media to work closely with the Rwanda National Police as it puts more focus on crime prevention.

The police boss made the call during a consultative meeting with Rwanda's media fraternity which he hosted at the headquarters in Kacyiru.

"Media is a great tool. It can influence events and drive change," Gasana said, adding that it is to the benefit of the Rwandan people that the two institutions work together.

During the highly interactive session, the Police chief, told the journalists about the progress his institutions has registered - internationally and locally - over the last few years.

"We have seven foreign peace missions, and we have the most female officers on foreign missions in the world," the Inspector General said.

He also sighted challenges including drug abuse among the youth.

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) has beefed up its communications department after realizing the media is key to achieving its vision.

Regional Police officers at a relatively senior level have been appointed and trained to work closely with journalists to ensure the free flow of information.

The Police runs an active website and use social media to interact with the Rwandan people.

The Chairperson of the Rwanda Editors Forum, Jean Bosco Rushibingabigwi, acknowledged the move by the police, saying that it will ease the work of journalists as they will be in position to easily access information.

"This is a step in the right direction," Rushingabigwi said. However, he added, the Police should relate closely with all media houses and not be selective as has been the case.

The journalists present took advantage of the meeting and asked some tough questions related to how the police works.

Gasana explained in detail that in addition to law enforcement, the police is taking a more active role in contributing towards the overall development of the country as well as enhancing cooperation with other countries.

The Police chief called on journalists to dig deeper when reporting police-related stories, cautioning that there have been cases where people use the media to blackmail the police and media houses should not fall for the trap.

At the request of journalists, the police boss granted a regular interactive session to assess how the two institutions work and get updates on the security situations across the country.

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