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Strong partnership between UNPOl and community curbing criminality in Bentiu PoC site

Strong partnership between UNPOl and community curbing criminality in Bentiu PoC site

The UNMISS UNPOL and the community in the Bentiu Protection of Civilian (PoC) site have strongly united against criminality. This partnership is helping to curb insecurity, as well as enhancing the safety of people living in the country’s largest protection site.

UNPOL PoC site coordinator in Bentiu, Francis Yiribaare, said that a framework of community-based policing pragmatic strategies have been developed in partnership with the community.

He cited security arrangements from the shelter, block and sector levels, anti-crime sensitizations and awareness campaigns, orientations, and collaborations with community volunteer watch groups, among others.

Speaking at a five-day anti-crime campaign climax which drew over 6,000 residents in the  protection site, the coordinator said “…at the beginning of this year, there were worrying signs of a gradual resurgence of gang violence and inter-county clashes, but through a collaborative effort all are under control.”  

He also noted that criminality no matter how minor creates fear, panic and a perception of insecurity in the PoC site.

“Gang violence is the main issue of concern in the site, and by assessment there are about ten identifiable gangs,” Mr. Yiribaare said. He added that “…many of them have been policed into inactivity and absolute dormancy with the support of the community, while few are still trying to re-align amongst themselves to present a formidable front, but those ones too, we are at their heels.”

The daily reported crime rate in the PoC site is currently on an average of two which is low in an environment of over 121 thousand people, according to the coordinator.

He then mentioned the measures in place against those IDP's  whose conduct posed a threat to the safety and security of others to include expulsion from the camp, incluing detention in a holding facility or the handing over to local authorities.  Those who pose minor threats are assessed and referred to the community leaders for mediation.  

He said, “Over a recent period, we have expelled 43 people”.  The community is cooperating with the UN police on enforcement to ensure they stay permanently out of the site.

The anti-crime sensitization campaign was conducted  consecutively in all  five sectors of the PoC site resulting in a grand procession across the entire site to further demonstrate and consolidate a united voice against criminality.