UN Police partner with the South Sudan National Police Service and Community in Torit to curb crime

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Residents of Hai Battery, a location in Torit municipality with a high crime rate, have called on the South Sudan National Police Service and other security organs to conduct night patrols to reduce crime.

“We need emergency telephone contacts of all police and security organs. If anything happens, we can call you. If we make calls, we expect emergency rescue,” said Ibura Josephine, a representative of the women in the area. “Just a few days ago criminals entered my neighbor’s home, stole solar panels and smartphones, then proceeded to my house and we had no help.”

Unlike other residential areas of Torit, Hai Battery suffered more serious and frequent cases of nighttime burglaries, gang rapes and targeted attacks between March and May this year.

“As a disabled lady I was scared. They entered my home and left silently with my belongings. I was afraid to shout because they might have killed me,” said Sidonia Apoko, a resident of the area.

Over 20 women shared their concerns during a routine Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) meeting held with United Nations Police officers from UNMISS, the South Sudan National Police Service, and general community members.

The meeting, which was organized by the UN peacekeeping mission in Torit, sought to strengthen working relations between formed community police units and the local police service.

“You need to rebuild and strengthen community policing groups despite the challenges and work hand-in-hand with your local police,” advised Emmanuel Tawu, a United Nations police adviser. “You need to come up with several means to share information, make calls and report criminal activities to the police.”

According to residents, criminality has sharply increased in the area even as perpetrators continue to use firearms, machetes, knives, and sticks to frustrate the efforts of the unarmed community police members who patrol the residential area especially at night.

“I am the only member of the PCRC in the area who is still interested in conducting night patrols. We do not have weapons or even torch lights to counter the many risks we face. I suggest that a police post be installed here,” said Madelina Achan.

The PCRC is an initiative supported by the United Nations Police to help the South Sudan National Police Service extend its security and protection services to all civilians. 

“The Commissioner of Police and the state governor have selected and formed organized forces which have started responding and rescuing particular residential areas in crisis,” said Adolf Fulbio Oswaha, the South Sudan National Police Service Officer-in-Charge of the Torit Municipal Council.