Rwanda National Police (RNP) has commended the increased community involvement in policing and intensified night patrols which have responded effectively to the issue of cattle theft, which is on the significant decline.
According to Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, Police spokesperson for the Eastern Province, the most affected region, cases of cattle theft are now rare and attributed it to community policing and active role of the people themselves, in particular, who have taken an upper hand to work with the police to identify the suspected thieves.
By mid September, police had arrested 87 people suspected of being behind series of cattle theft in the Province particularly in the districts of Gatsibo, Nyagatare and Kayonza.
At least 81 of them have since been remanded.
In that same month, the suspects were paraded before thousands of residents as police completed their dossiers and forwarded them to the prosecution.
“In the last one month, we have recorded four cases of cattle theft in Gatsibo and all the four suspects were arrested and all the stolen cows recovered; we haven’t registered any case in Nyagatare,” said IP Kayigi.
Cases of cattle theft that were previously handled by mediators – Abunzi – have since been referred to the courts of law.
“The public have the power to protect what rightfully belong to them, ensure that their households and communities are safer, and that’s what community policing stand for. It’s the partnership between the police and the public for the wellbeing of all, and that way, we will create a strong bond in fighting, prevention and quick response where necessary through timely and credible information sharing,” he said.