4 December 2012

Liberia: Crime Rate Escalating in Bomi County - County Attorney Alarms

The County Attorney of Bomi County has alarmed over the high rate of crime in that part of Liberia. Bomi County, which is located in Central Liberia, is about 45 kilometers away from the capital, Monrovia. The county is one of the poorest in terms of infrastructure and economic development. According to Cllr. Juma Karnley, the escalation of crime in the county is disturbing.

He stated that Bomi County has a high rate of 'crime that can be blamed on so many factors.' He made these comments recently in an exclusive interview with this paper in Tubmanburg City, Bomi County. Cllr. Karnley put the crime rate in the county at about 65%. He named some of the crimes as rape, theft of property, and burglary, amongst others. He attributed the escalation of crimes in Bomi County to the high level of unemployment.

The government prosecutor pointed out that most young people residing in the county are unemployed, and as such, something must be done to address the situation. However, the government prosecutor said the security apparatus in the county, including the Liberia National Police (LNP) are vigorously working in order to drastically reduce the high rate of crimes in the county. Speaking further, Cllr. Karnley said the delay in the trial of cases at the courts is also responsible for the high velocity of crimes.

He said cases sometimes are delayed because complainants do not pursue their cases. He indicated that the high rate of crimes would rapidly reduce if cases are speed-up at both the Magisterial and Circuit Courts. According to him, the unwillingness of witnesses to testify in cases remains a challenge to the justice system in the county.

"Bomi County has a high crime rate especially in terms of rape, theft of property and burglary. Unemployment is one of the factors. Some of our people are just wicked; they are from a very good background but they chose to just be bad. The crime rate here is about 65%. This can be curtailed if cases in court are speed up and the high rate of unemployment tackled," he stated.

Cllr. Karnley stated that logistical support to the justice sector in Bomi County remains another major challenge. The government official noted that his assigned vehicle has been 'over-used to get witnesses who do not have money, but are willing to testify from faraway places.' Despite the challenges, he said the judicial authorities in the county were working very assiduously and diligently in order to ensure that citizens have trust and confidence in the justice system. He added that the 'government was doing well in making sure that citizens get access to justice.'

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