The Inquirer (Monrovia)

17 January 2013

Liberia: Police Boasts of Crimes Reduction

The Liberia National Police (LNP) says that in 2012 crime across the country reduced by 2% as compared to 2011. The Inspector General of the LNP, Col. Christopher Massaquoi said that some 14,758 crimes were reported in 2011 as compared to 14,388 reported crimes in 2012.

However the statistics announced by the LNP Boss has come under attack by many Liberian communities as many districts, towns and communities in parts of the country have one police officer assigned there and others have none.

In a recent press conference held at the LNP Headquarters in Monrovia, Colonel Massaquoi could neither give the statistics on the number of officers in rural villages and towns nor could he provide any statistics on police depots or sub-stations in rural parts of the country.

With more than half of the country's 3.6 million population in Monrovia quite often, statistics are generalized there and, however with wanted criminals having the edge to find hideouts in rural parts of the country; many Liberians have questioned the authenticity of the LNP's just released statistics on the reduction of crime in the country.

Colonel Massaquoi outlined that due to various operations and the empowering of the Professional Standards Division of the LNP, Liberians can be assured that they are protected. In the same vein Colonel Massaquoi pointed out that the LNP needs more budgetary support to increase the peace and security that so many Liberians enjoy now.

The LNP Boss said that as the United Nations Mission in Liberia draws down with military and police presence, the LNP is prepared to take over the total security of the country.

Meanwhile, over twenty officers of the Liberia National Police yesterday departed the country for three weeks training in the United States of America.

The departure of the LNP officers is part of a grant from the American Government for the training of officers of the Liberia National Police.

While in the USA the officers will be train in mobile and foot patrol and as part of the US government contribution to the Liberia National Police in the wake of UNMIL drawn down currently plan taking place.

Speaking to the officers before their departure, the Director of Police, Col. Chris Massaquoi called on the officers to see themselves as ambassadors of the LNP, and warned them not to break away from the team as doing so will sent a negative impression on the image of the police in Liberia.

For his part, the Commissioner of police of UNMIL, John Neilsen said the American government will remain supportive in building the capacity on the LNP as the UNMIL draws down form Liberia. He called on them to take their training seriously as it will greatly impact their work of the police force upon their return.

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