Rwanda National Police (RNP), yesterday, commenced its annual ‘Police Week’ activities in events held countrywide, with focus on promoting ‘crime-free village’ to cement the philosophy of community policing.

The official launch held concurrently in all provinces and the City of Kigali was presided over by cabinet ministers flanked by RNP leadership, and was marked with the unveiling of construction works of at least 30 village offices.

The 30 identified crime-free villages that are getting the multi-purpose offices—one in each district—will be equipped with office furniture, television set and solar energy.

The official launch in the Northern Province was held in the crime-free village of Mugari in Migeshi Cell of Cyuve Sector in Musanze District, and presided over by the Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka.

While addressing the residents, Minister Kaboneka urged them to “maintain the responsive partnership culture in crime prevention and development activities.”

He asked residents to protect the solar systems and the new village office, and to work together in implementation of security and development initiatives to uplift their welfare.

Minister of Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi [c], DIGP Juvenal Marizamunda [R] and Governor Western Province Alphonse Munyentwari during Police Week launch in Ngororero District.

“Wherever light is introduced, darkness disappears and so is crime and poverty,” Minister Kaboneka said.

Similar activities in the Southern Province held in Kamonyi District were presided over by the Minister of 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 they are secure.

In Kigali, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta, who launched the activities in Cyankongi Village, Rusheshe Cell of Masaka Sector in Kicukiro District also thanked the residents for turning one of the areas 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; when you are defined by conflicts in your families,” Minister Biruta told residents of Rusheshe, while urging them to fight illegal mining, cutting of trees, and use of plastic bags.

In the Western, the Minister of Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi, who was accompanied by DIGP-Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda urged thousands of youth in Ngororero to take lead in fighting and reporting crimes like drug abuse, which she said is one of the obstacles affecting 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 the Eastern Province in 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 strengthened 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.

Police officers constructing one of the Village offices

It is meant to take the campaign against crimes down to the grassroots level to create crime-free village and to strengthen community-centred policing.

Other ‘Police Week’ activities will also include distribution and installation of solar-powered systems to 3000 households across the country; tree planting as part of environmental conservation; construction of houses for the disadvantaged families and infrastructure development activities as well awareness against high impact crimes.

Sensitization campaign will mainly focus on fighting illicit drugs, gender based violence and child abuse, human trafficking, corruption as well as environmental protection and road safety.

The concurrent events were also attended by provincial Governors and other security organs as well as local leaders.

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