Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Tuesday commenced its nationwide annual 'Police Week', activities with a focus on promoting 'crime-free' villages to cement the philosophy of community policing.
The official launch, held simultaneously in all 30 districts of the country, was presided over by cabinet ministers, flanked by police leadership, and was marked with the unveiling of construction works of at least 30 village offices.
The 30 crime-free villages, to be rewarded with the multi-purpose offices--one in each district, will be equipped with office furniture, a television set and solar energy.
The official launch in the Northern Province was held in the crime-free village of Mugeshi Cell, Cyuve Sector in Musanze District, and presided over by the Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka.
While addressing the residents, Kaboneka urged them to "maintain the responsive partnership culture in crime prevention and development activities."
He asked residents to protect solar systems and the new village office, and to work together in implementation of security and development initiatives to uplift their welfare.
"Wherever light is introduced, darkness disappears and so is crime and poverty," Kaboneka said.
Similar activities in the Southern Province, held in Kamonyi District, were presided over by the Minister for Health, Dr Diane Gashumba, flanked by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza.
Minister Gashumba hailed RNP for its continued human security activities and pointed out that the healthier the society is, the more secure it is.
In Kigali, the Minister for Environment, Dr Vincent Biruta, who launched the activities in Cyankongi Village, Rusheshe Cell of Masaka Sector in Kicukiro District, who also thanked the residents for turning an area that used to be defined by illicit drugs into "a crime-free village".
"You cannot develop when you don't feel safe in your house or community, when your crops or livestock are being stolen, and when you are defined by conflicts in your families," Biruta told residents of Rusheshe, urging them to fight illegal mining, cutting of trees, and use of plastic bags.
In the Western Province, the Minister for Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi, who was accompanied by DIGP-Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, urged thousands of youths in Ngororero District to take the lead in fighting and reporting crime, notably drug abuse, which she said is one of the issues inhibiting youth development.
The State Minister in the Ministry of Local Government in charge of Socio-Economic Development, Cyriaque Harelimana, alongside the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel K. Gasana, launched the community development activities in Eastern Province, an event held in Munyiginya Sector of Rwamagana District.
IGP Gasana said: "Police Week is about reviewing where we have come from, looking towards where we are heading, and setting new targets of a stronger partnership in security and development."
The 2018 Police Week activities are held under the theme "18 Years of Partnership in Policing: Towards a Crime-free Village," and will be climaxed with the 'Police Day' on June 16, when RNP will mark its 18th anniversary.
It is meant to take the campaign against crimes down to the grassroots with view to creating crime-free village and to strengthen community-centred policing.
Other 'Police Week' activities will include distribution and installation of solar-powered systems to 3,000 households across the country, tree planting as part of environmental conservation, construction of houses for the disadvantaged families, infrastructure development activities, as well as awareness against high impact crimes.