UN Police and community watch groups unite in the fight against crime in Bentiu PoC site
The United Nations Police (UNPOL) and the community of Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site have come together and joined hands in the fight against crime within the camp. UN Police site Coordinator in Bentiu, Francis Yiribaare, said that pragmatic strategies which are within the framework of community-based policing have been developed to fight against crime. Yiribaare highlighted that these strategies which include anti-crime sensitizations and awareness campaigns, orientations and collaborations with volunteer watch groups, were developed in consultation with the community living in the camp.
Speaking at a 5-day anti-crime campaign which drew over 6,000 residents of the PoC site, Yiribaare said “at the beginning of the year, there were worrying signs of increased gang violence and inter-county clashes but through collaborative efforts with the community volunteer watch groups, insecurity has been clamped down.”
According to Mr. Yiribaare, crime related incidents occur at an average of two a day which is low given that 121,000 people live on the site. However, Yiribaare added that “criminality, no matter how minor, creates a lot of fear and perception of insecurity in the PoC site.”
Measures against those who pose major threats such as murder, rape, gang violence and armed robbery in the PoC site have been put in place. These measures include expulsion from the camp, continuous detention in the holding facilities or handing over perpetrators to local authorities. Those who commit minor threats are assessed and referred to the community leaders for mediation.
Forty-three people have since been permanently expelled from the camp.
The 5 day anti-crime campaign which took place in all five sectors of the PoC site was concluded with a march against crime by residents of Bentiu PoC site.