Police and local authorities in Rutsiro District have commended the residents for their role in community policing activities which have been vital in improved safety and security in the district.
The appreciation was delivered on July 26 in Ruhango Sector where over 1500 residents gathered in Kavumu Cell to witness a public exercise to destroy varied illicit and narcotic drugs and other illegal and banned items seized in varied community policing operations over the past one year.
The destroyed items valued at over Rwf22.8 million include about 11, 160 rolls of cannabis, plastic bags and bundles of seized fishing nets which had biggest cost of the destroyed items.
The District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police (SP) Boniface Kagenza said the destroyed drugs and other illegal items were seized after the residents gave them information on the location and people involved.
“We are here to destroy these narcotic drugs and other unlawful items but also to celebrate the achievements of community policing and your role as residents in particular in fighting and preventing crimes,” Supt. Kagenza told the residents.
“In all these successful operations, people involved were arrested and this was only because we knew who they were and where they were hiding and doing their criminal acts because we had credible information from you; safety and security starts with you where you live, move and what you hear and working with security organs through information sharing,” he added.
He emphasized that by particularly fighting and reporting drug dealers, abusers and those who distill illicit brew, they will be preventing domestic violence and assault mostly fueled by drugs.
He further said that illegal fishing nets pose danger to fish species and advised fishers to follow instructions and procedures in their water business.
Gakuru Innocent, the vice mayor of Rutsiro in charge of finance and economic development embarked on the threat polythene bags pose to the environment.
He reminded them that they were banned in Rwanda and “selling or using them is illegal and punishable by the law.”
While urging them to actively take part in community development activities, Gakuru noted that community policing particularly through strengthened night patrols, neighborhood watch and timely information sharing with police and other security organs on any wrongdoing will give room for sustainable development.
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