For the past few years, Rwanda National Police has introduced new policing initiatives, among which are the mobile policing services meant to further improve and easy access policing services at all levels.
Among these services is the Mobile Police Station – an initiative introduced in December last year to reach out to people living in remote areas that wish to report injustices they face to ensure they access justice, and to sensitize the public on crime prevention.
In the past twelve months, the vehicle has spent quality time in the remotest areas of Rwanda serving the purpose.
Figures from the Police indicate that the truck that has an in-built office and counseling space has since December handled 1031 cases. Among those include, 401 criminal cases and 624 civil cases.
About 91 cases were registered in Nyamashake District with 91, 80 in Ngororero and 77 in Gisagara.
“Whenever the vehicle is deployed in a particular area, there is a specific anti-crime sensitization topic to discuss about with the people. In the process, they lodge their complaints and concerns to our officers in the vehicle who register for further investigations and appropriate action,” said the Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Celestin Twahirwa.
According to the police spokesperson, Police follows up each case to ensure that it is resolved.
When the mobile station vehicle is to visit a certain location, local leaders and MAJ staff are invited to ensure complaint is attended by the corresponding official who is competent in that specific field.
“By providing a service that is needed in the deepest and remotest of societies, RNP has once again proved that it is innovative and service-driven.”
“The service is particularly extended to citizens residing or working in places located far away from Police stations, whereby, a mobile vehicle treks through the terrain searching for those wishing to lodge complaints.
“This idea to have a fully-fledged mobile police station stems from the fact that sometimes people face injustices at home or in their communities but because a police post or station is far away, they might end up not filing a case, and live perpetual conflicts or domestic wrangles,” CSP Twahirwa said.
Most of these registered complaints hover around asset ownership, family wrangles, theft, poor services from local leaders, gender based violence, family neglect, among others.
“The cases that police handle directly are those within its mandate to investigate, some of which are immediately addressed. Others are channeled to relevant institutions such as the judiciary and local leaders, where residents can get further assistance.
In the process of handling the cases, police officers also educate the public on matters ranging from human trafficking, environmental protection, drug abuse, and gender based violence among others, and this has broken the public silence on criminality, enhancing detection rate and strengthened partnership with police in improving community safety.
By dedicating its resources and skills to this initiative, Police has not only reaped much in sensitizing the public against crimes but also understanding of the nature of problems common in such remote localities.
Last month, RNP also unveiled the Isange one stop centre Mobile clinic to deal with -GBV Campaigns.
The Mobile Clinic is currently moving in different parts of the country recording and solving cases of GBV.
Prior to the two initiatives, Police already had a Motor Vehicle Mobile Test Lane, which has the capacity to inspect 80-100 vehicles per day and facilitates vehicle owners operating in the countryside to have their cars tested without traveling long distances to Kigali.
“These mobile services have brought our services closer to the people and it’s our ambition to ensure we use all means at our disposal to reach out and serve all Rwandans efficiently and professionally,” said CSP Twahirwa.