The Tale of a Crime-Free Village in Gatsibo

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ACP Theos Badege addressing residents of Nyagihanga.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has hailed efforts by Gatsibo District resident in combating lawlessness through collectiveness and using community policing methods in keeping their communities secure.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege the RNP spokesperson made the remarks recently while addressing residents of Nyagihanga Sector where he represented the police leadership, shortly after a joint community work between Police and residents held in the framework of the forthcoming 2017 Police Week.

The exercise was meant to enlighten the residents on activities to be conducted during Police Week.

Nyagihanga is one of the beneficiaries of the Police Week social programmes where at least 120 households will be lit with home solar energy in the ongoing installation programme.

About 3000 households and 30 health centres will get solar energy, countrywide.

ACP Badege, while speaking to the residents, commended them for their team work and partnership in combating crime.

The spokesperson was referring to Kagarama Village in Gitoki Sector, which has not recorded any crime since the beginning of the year.

“This is mature community policing. Where there’s no Kanyanga and other psychotropic drinks, and cannabis, ideally, there will be no fighting. This is a clear model that defines responsible citizens, who understood their role and ownership to prevent crime,” said ACP Badege.

According Kagarama Village chief, Patrick Bimenyimana, residents chose to form fifteen clusters comprised of at least fifteen households to ease neighbourhood watch, identification of newcomers, and easy flow of information.

“By the end of the day, we know everyone in the villages; we can easily tell who has relocated to or from our village and even a new born. This system binds us together to be an eye for each other, to know characters of tenants and casual labourers,” said Bimenyimana.

Vestine Mukayiranga, also a resident, says clusters helped them to address cases of domestic violence where they would identify, visit and resolve issues of conflicting couples.

As the village head teaches people the importance of hygiene by having toilets in their homes as opposed to open defection by example.

According to Richard Gasana, the mayor for Gatsibo, the clustering has been effective in attending to issues quickly.

“It is easy to know whose child doesn’t attend school, who is sick, and who requires community support,” said the mayor.

Indeed, all residents of Kagarama have already paid their health insurance premiums until 2019.

Meanwhile, during Umuganda, police and the residents also constructed latrines for residents.

Police also delivered t-shirts which were pledged by RNP to members of Garuka Urebe cultural troupe, which is instrumental in composing community policing songs and using their cultural talents to raise awareness against crimes.

The pledge was made in February during the inauguration of ten police stations in constructed out of financial contribution and labour by residents of Gatsibo.

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