Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: National Police Launches Community Policing Week

Rwandans have been urged to seriously get involved in the fight against crime and social disorder. This was the message from the national police as it was launching the community policing week on Monday.

The Minister of Internal Security Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana, who was the chief guest at the launch, said that safety of the community is safety for the country. He stressed that the national police works for Rwandans. "The police has to be accountable to the people. It has to inform them about what it is doing and encourage them towards participating in security maintenance," Minister Harelimana said at Rwanda National Police headquarters in Kacyiru.

He also commended the UN and other partners for their continued support in various security initiatives for the country, community policing included.

According to Mininter, Rwanda needs at least one police officer for 450 citizens, but it only has one per thousand. "This is what makes us need citizens' involvement more in promoting their owning security through community-based crime-fighting mechanisms," Harelimana said.

The annual community policing week aims at increasing public awareness in preventing crimes. Some of the areas highlighted this week will be the fight against drugs, anti-Gender Based Violence (GBV) campaigns, environment protection activities, initiatives against corruption as well as fire and road safety.

"During the week, we will tackle a lot of issues mainly aimed at sensitizing the public in their villages and sectors on their role in collaboration with community policing committees in detecting and reporting crimes such as drugs and alcohol abuse, GBV, theft and domestic conflicts," said police spokesman Theos Badege.

The superintendent said everyone should remember his role in fostering a secure community while reminding them to be pro-active and take part in the Community Policing Week's activities.

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