Security in Bor receives a boost with inauguration of two Police Community Relations Committees

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Two new Police Community Relations Committees have been formally inaugurated in Bor county, Jonglei state. These Committees help local law enforcement be more efficient and effective plus engender community ownership of law and order. Photo by Mach Samuel/UNMISS

20 Sep 2021

Security in Bor receives a boost with inauguration of two Police Community Relations Committees

Mach Samuel

Residents of Malek and Panpandiar areas within Bor county in Jonglei will now feel safer and more secure, thanks to the formation of two new Police Community Relations Committees (PCRCs) over the weekend.

This initiative was facilitated by United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers serving with UNMISS in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

These Committees are a grassroots-level security team of local leaders who work with police to prevent crime by reporting problems in the community.

Both Committees consist of 12 members drawn from paramount chiefs, members of organized forces, civil society and faith-based organizations, trade unions, women, academics and media partners among others.

Previously, all PCRCs were headed by State Governors but following a review in July this year, in a bid to promote local ownership of law and order, these newly formed Committees will be headed by community leaders.

The plan is simple: Community members will be responsible for maintaining law and order within their area and bolster police capacity. This strategy is supported by UNPOL which is building capacities among their national counterparts.

“The police cannot be everywhere all the time. Therefore, it is your duty to bring any suspicious activity in your neighborhoods to their attention speedily so that we can all be safe,” averred Peruth Karungi, a security specialist from UNDP.

UNPOL will continue to work with the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) and help communities overcome security challenges through the Technical Working Group. But these Committees are expected to boost the efficacy of national police by being their eyes and ears on the ground.  

Members of the newly formed Committees received gumboots, raincoats and torches to facilitate their work.

“We will continue to collaborate with the SSNPS and community members and strengthen their capacity technically to fight the crimes, but these Police Community Relations Committees will help in early warning and ensure that community members themselves becoming proactive in maintaining law and order,” stated Emmanuel Boampang, UNPOL coordinator in Bor.  

There are currently 20 PCRCs in the Greater Jonglei region which have been effectively resolving individual and community conflict which may have, otherwise, spiraled into violent conflict.