Police Director Col. Clarence Massaquoi has threatened to take drastic action against any police officer caught compromising on rape cases.
Rape, child abuse and domestic violence are on the increase in Liberia and must be taken very seriously, warned Director Massaquoi yesterday at a joint community police initiative, held in Dolo’s Town, Margibi County
Any act that undermines the LNP’s zero tolerance policy on rape and other forms of domestic violence will not be tolerated, the Police Chief said.
He warned parents and guardians to stop settling rape disputes in the comfort of their homes. Rape cases should be immediately reported to the police.
He said the LNP will continue to encourage community dwellers and local government officials to support the LNP’s initiatives to educate members of the public on the consequences of rape in society.
Col. Massaquoi, launching the pilot project, organized by the Community Section of the United Nations Mission in Liberia(UNMIL) and the LNP, said communities must put their eyes together to address problems, including domestic violence, rape and also armed robbery.
“These crimes are committed by fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, among others from our communities,” he said.
“Rape is a global issue for all communities, mostly war affected countries, including Liberia,” Col. Massaquoi said.
He noted that during the most recent civil-crisis in Liberia rape was used as a weapon against girls and women.
Col. Massaquoi reaffirmed LNP’s commitment in bringing perpetrators to book.
The LNP boss meanwhile warned those engaged in armed robberies and other forms of crime to desist, as officers of the LNP have been instructed to deal sternly with them according to law.
LNP is facing challenges in addressing crimes in the communities, Director Massaquoi explained. He referred to parents leaving their children unattended, making them vulnerable to criminals.
“This is a pilot project and will be extended to other parts of the country. We want the community to help in reducing crimes,” he pleaded.
On behalf of UNPOL Police Commissioner Gregory Hinds, officer Walz Felix said he was proud of the LNP, and community dwellers who have been involved in the project.
He commended those involved in the project including teachers, chiefs, imams, pastors, community dwellers, and city mayors for contributing to Liberia’s development.
“We need to understand how to come together as one people in moving Liberia’s development forward. This program is not about today or tomorrow but after the withdrawal of UNMIL next year,” he maintained.
Mr. Felix emphasized that sustaining the program was important especially with the involvement of the community in containing crimes.
In his statement, Dolo Town City Mayor, Emmanuel F. Fartumay, explained that they have engaged in settling disputes, including child abuse, child labor, domestic violence, among others, to reduce crime in the community.
He called on the LNP boss to increase the manpower at the local police depot, which is currently manned by only four officers.
“We are not feeling the support of the LNP officers and we want you to call on your partners to support this initiative,” he stressed.
The program seeks to improve national, regional, county and community service delivery, and will address issues of domestic violence, drug addiction, theft of property, and disorderly conduct, among other crimes.
The program featured a drama depicting community support in reporting cases of crimes.