Rwanda’s recent history has led to community solutions that provide security both at national and grassroot levels. The community policing measures ensure safety of residents and their property in their respective mudugudu’s (villages).
According to Jacques Uwimana, the executive Secretary of Remera Sector, Gasabo district, operations of community policing are conducted at the umudugudu level. Monthly reports are collected from all sectors and are in turn used to assess the stability of an area.
“The team in our mudugudu starts their operation at 8:00 p.m until the early hours of the morning. The service is paid for from a collection from residents,” Uwimana said.
Although they are commended for their good work, Uwimana said there are many challenges while on duty.
“They lack protection measures in case of any serious attack during their operations, which puts their lives in danger,” Uwimana said.
He pointed out that these guards are not in any way well trained. They have no skills to protect others as they protect themselves.
“These people need training to at least acquire basic skills of protecting themselves as they maintain security,” Uwimana stressed.
He said the guards as they play a significant role in the peace keeping efforts within their respective villages.
Issac Mutabazi a resident of Remera commends the work done by the community guards; but he is worried of moving at night. He says that although security is under control at national level, some residents and other business operators in Remera have been attacked by thugs.
“I try hard to avoid moving at night or late in the evening because of the cases of theft that have occurred around my place of residence,” Mutabazi said.
He explained that although local authorities have tried to condense the situation, thugs are aware of the measures put in place to arrest them so they are a step ahead.
“These people take advantage of the congestion during evening hours to steal things from people on their way home,” Mutabazi said.
He explained that although these people have no intentions to harm the lives of residents, their acts have strong negative impacts on people’s lives.
“People move with important academic qualifications in search for employment, land titles and other equally important documents,” he said.
Sup Eric Kayiranga, Rwanda National police spokesperson said that many strategies have been used by the institution to ensure the protection of people and their property.
“Effective investigation of crimes and arresting criminals is among the major strategies the police uses in suppressing the crime rate in the country,” Kayiranga said.
He explained that as police, many different measures are in place and many more are to come so as to tighten and ensure a peaceful Rwanda. Among these are community policing and cooperation with other police in the world.
“Rwanda National Police has improved its collaboration with the population. Community Liaison Officers were dispatched in all sectors of the country to work with the citizens in tracing criminals through information sharing,” he said.
According to police, some of the rampant crimes committed include violence against children and women which led to the formation of a new department in the judicial police, aimed at fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The Rwanda National Police Women Network (RNWN) is a resultant tool established to promote gender and address gender issues in the institution.
According to Kayiranga, police collaboration with the public will maintain Rwanda’s peace and stability therefore encourage more investors in the country for national development.