Police urges public to put safety first during New Year celebrations

Revellers cheer on an artist during a performance in Kigali. Police has called on the public to celebrate responsibly. Sam Ngendahimana.

As we end 2018 and usher in the New Year 2019, Police have called on Rwandans to celebrate responsibly and to put safety first.

Police also appealed to the public to pay attention to their safety and security both in their homes and places of celebration.

The Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP), John Bosco Kabera, said that the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day attract increased movements and celebrations, which requires the “responsiveness of everyone and to stay within the limits of the law”.

“If you are leaving your home, don’t leave doors or windows unlocked; there should also be someone left behind to watch over the house because wrongdoers attempt to seize such occasions to break into houses to steal,” Kabera said.

He added: “We appeal to those holding musical shows and over-night prayers to continue to do so in a manner that doesn’t affect the celebrations and social wellbeing of others.”

He called for continued information sharing about anyone or anything that can impede the safety and security of the people.

Police also provided contacts to call per region, for any criminal acts. They include 0788311128 (City of Kigali), 0788311118 (Western region), 0788311142 (Eastern region), 0788311138 (Southern region), 0788311151 (Northern region), 0788311110 (Traffic Police) and 112 (Toll-free for Emergency), and any other known Police contacts in districts and Police stations.

Christmas, Kabera said, was marked by peaceful celebrations and urged the general population to ensure this remain the same as we welcome the New Year.

He also warned bar owners against serving alcoholic drinks to minors as well as letting them into night clubs, which is prohibited by law.

Selling alcohol to children below 18 years is liable to a term of imprisonment between three to six months and a fine of Rwf100, 000 to Rwf200, 000.

Road safety

“We recorded trends in alcohol related driving and destruction of public infrastructure in Christmas period, accidents caused by drunkenness and over speeding. We appeal to drivers to regulate their speed, respect pedestrian pathways and road safety signs,” the spokesperson said.

“If you are drunk don’t drive, avoid driving under stress ot using a phone when on the wheel; life continues, so enjoy responsibly putting safety ahead in whatever you do.”

Kabera also reminded that staggering in the road can be fatal, urging pedestrians to use provided pathways when crossing the road.

“Be 100 per cent safe when crossing the road, either using crosswalks or in other places where they don’t exist.”




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