CRIME - Rape and defilement are among the highest crimes in the country, with a reported 2,703 cases in 2007, CID Director, Chief Superintendent Costa Habyara has said.
“The crime might seem to be on the increase, but actually it is because people have broken the stigma and now many report the cases to police,” Habyara said during a press conference at Police Headquarters in Kacyiru on Tuesday.
The meeting held on Tuesday to address journalists on achievements and challenges of the National Police in 2007 was attended by Robert Niyonshuti, head of traffic police, Felix Namuhoranye, Chief Superintendent and inspector of inspection, Pierre Tebuka, Inspector of police and the Police Spokesman, Marcel Willy Higiro.
Habyara said that sensitization against the crime made people bold and able to report the cases. Many were victims of rape but they used to keep quite because it was like a disgrace to fall a victim, he said.
He said there was hope that the crime would continue to reduce, saying that the number in 2006 was higher, at 2746.
Ninety percent of the sexual crimes were defilement cases, while ten percent was rape. Habyara said that the reports include victims of early marriages. Some of the victims of underage marriages were forced into it while others did so willingly.
“Early marriages used to be normal for families and victims, so it is not all that easy to fight it. At times girls are not willing to leave their men,” he said.
Felix Namuhoranye said that Inspection service of police would improve services and make every policeperson answerable. The service handles and settles complaints brought against the police.
“It is a mechanism to ensure professional ethics,” Namuhoranye said.
He said that it makes certain that neither the police nor the population is treated unfairly. He added that in their strategic plans, they hope to work more with the population because they believe they are not perfect. He said they would continue with sensitization and their key stakeholder in this is the media.
Robert Niyonshuti, the Head of the Traffic Police, said traffic crimes reduced in 2007 due to the role played by the population. He said that people discourage others from driving while drunk by reporting them to the police.
However, he said that people continue forging driving permits, others pretend to be policemen and take a lot of money from those they give fake driving permits.
“We arrested some last year with books in which they had registered their clients. There is still need for more efforts to curb the problem,” he said.
He said that new driving permits will be issued while issuing new National Identity cards. He said they will begin registering people with driving permits to prove if they are on the list of those who got them legally.
Among the changes envisioned this year is that police would start registering people to do driving permit exams in one day to avoid big number of people who do exams at different places. He added that driving exams would be held on different days and that more slots would be given to Kigali which has more demand.