By Nyamilepedia Corespondent.
Juba, South Sudan
August 22, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Lt Gen Saed Lom, Commissioner of SSNPS of Jubek State and the Executive Director of Kator Payam, Pio, co-chaired the first Police Community Relations Committee Meeting held at the Kator Payam premises in Juba over the weekend.
17 Quarter Council Chiefs, Deputy Executive Director of Kator Payam, Bosco Wani and Col Jervis Char, Officer In charge of Malakia Police Division, attended the meeting.
Col Jervis Char explained the concept of community policing and how the community could work as partners with the police to combat crime in their respective areas.
Having established three PCRCs in Munuki, Malakia and now Kator, Col Jervis along with his team of officers is working closely with the community to improve the security situation in his area of responsibility.
“We need your help to fight crimes. You as leaders of your respective areas know who is indulging in criminal activity. Unless you inform us how can the Police act”, he urged the quarter council chiefs in his briefing.
Jervis promised he will start the night patrol with youth and urge the community to identify crimes’ hot spots and the police will increase deployment in crimes prone areas in Munuki.
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He initiated the activation of the Malakia PCRC and also the Kator PCRC.
He was fully supported by the Commissioner, SSNPS, Lt Gen Said ChawelLom, who finds time from his very busy schedule to attend the PCRC meetings held every Saturday in various Police Divisions.
“His personal interest and encouragement has made a very positive impact on the community leaders.” Jervis said.
“At least right Police were deployed by the Commissioner in RajalMafi area of Kator after some murders in December. Since then there has been not a single violent incident in this area”, reported Juma Khairisi, Chairperson of the area.
Safi Juma Haji, who was elected as the temporary PCRC co-chair from the community side along with Col Char representing the Police, also thanked the Commissioner for deploying Police in his area in Kator.
“There has been no criminal activity since then”, he said.
In a free and frank feedback session, the communities interacted with the Police Commissioner and brought to his notice various areas for improvement in Police working.
There were reports of Police officers in Jebel market area harassing traders, not responding to community requests to help, or asking for money.
One of the quarter council Chiefs mentioned that the misconduct of some of the organized forces was a major cause of insecurity in Juba.
The leaders felt that through the PCRC they would raise these issues with the concerned authorities of the organized forces.
Lucia Eli Lujang, the women’s representative, from Rokon, narrated an incident where a person was killed and there was no action taken by the authorities.
“We want more police to be deployed on our area” she said.
Salah Lupai of kator West, Justin from Kator South, Deputy Chairman Jebel, Philip Laki, Andrew Majok, welcomed the idea of PCRC and urged that the community must help the Police and work with them.
“We are ready to help the Police, we can give them water, food, fuel, shelter, but they must do their job”, said Philip Laki, of Jebel Quarter Council.
Anthony from Kator West suggested that the Police should be trained better. Mansoor Isa, of Malakia quarter council and John Kuol from High Jeberona, assured the Police that they will urge their community members to inform the Police of any criminal activity and support them.
Joseph Eresto Lemi from Atlabara C expressed his concern at the illegal activities being carried out in Hotels.
“There are 38 hotels in Atlabara. The Police and City Council must ensure that they are not used for criminal activities”, said Joseph Lemi.
Ali Tombe, Chairman from Malakia, raised the issue of unchecked entry of foreigners who often indulged in criminal activities.
“There must be a check on the foreigners, coming and staying in Juba”, he appealed to the Police Commissioner and the Payam Executive Director.
Mohammad Rajab from Nyar Suk, and Gorok, Secretary Jeberona, urged the quarter council chiefs to support the police in their efforts to help the citizens.
“Having the PCRC is itself a big security measure” he felt.
In his address, Bosco Wani, Deputy Executive Director thanked the Police and the quarter council chiefs for their positive response to the PCRC.
“The quarter councils are the eyes and ears at the grassroots of the Government. They must be supported”, he said.
He urged the leaders to motivate their community members to be vigilant. “We have this Facebook road where young boys and girls are seen loitering even at very late hours. You must tell the community members to supervise their Children”, he mentioned.
Addressing the members, Commissioner Saed, said that he had taken note of all the feedback received from the quarter council chiefs.
“I have been noting down your feedback and suggestions. I will direct Col Jervis to take action. I will support all the Police Division Commanders to involve the community in improving security in their areas” said Lt Gen Said.
He urged the Executive Director to introduce a system of Registration of foreigners in each quarter council.
“Their full details must be available in the Quarter council office. Any suspicious behavior must be reported. I will direct CID to be deployed at the Hotels. We cannot allow prostitution to happen in the city. The council and the community must help fight this” he stated.
“The licenses of those hotels and bars involving young children must be cancelled”, he suggested to the Payam ED.
He explained to the quarter council leaders about the difficulties faced by 777 in responding to calls.
“777 did not have enough cars, there was shortage of fuel and in many areas there were no roads” He urged the community to support the service.
“Though UNDP is supporting us with putting up street signs and supporting PCRCs, it is us who have to act” he mentioned to an attentive audience.
He provided his telephone number to the members and said “call me if there is no response from 777, or if a Police officer is harassing people, misbehaving with the public or asking for money. I will deal with them as per the Police rules”, he said.
“We have established the Joint Court to deal with organized forces offenders. Report any organized forces person indulging in misbehavior. We will deal with them in the joint court”, he added.
The Commissioner directed Col Char to hold regular meetings with the community and ensure that their genuine request was met.
Col Char assured immediate action regarding deployment of Police to crime prone area. He requested the chiefs to help the Police with shelter, food and water once they were deployed to these new locations.
He also urged them to help him in mobility so that he can visit the Police Posts in various locations and supervise the personnel more closely.
“We will start joint night patrol in the division as we did in Munuki. I urge the leaders to provide young men and women to join the Police on patrols at night”, he mentioned.
Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director Kator Payam, Pio, profusely thanked the Commissioner for taking the initiative.
“I have heard what the Commissioner has said. This is what we want. I assure him of our full cooperation. We will work as partners and fight crime together”, he assured.
He commended Col Jervis for working hard with his team to improve security in the area.
The community policing initiative in South Sudan, including Juba is being supported by Government of Japan and DFiD through UNDP. More and more community members and quarter council chiefs are becoming aware of their roles and responsibilities and coming forward to help the police.
The PCRC is providing a forum for direct interaction between the Police leadership and the community leadership leading to a better understanding between the community and the Police.