June 13, 2012 (JUBA) - Senior government officials at South Sudan’s ministry of interior on Wednesday instructed police to increase regular patrols apparently in an effort to contain growing public concerns about increasing crime rates.
Juba made the pronouncement a day after reports indicated that gunmen suspected to be armed robbers attacked a vehicle carrying three passengers, travelling from Torit, in Eastern Equatoria State to Juba on at 7pm Monday.
Several government officials told Sudan Tribune that the attack occurred in the Khor Angereb area between Ngangala and Nesitu by unknown gunmen wearing military uniforms, similar to those worn by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
"Police forces have have received instructions to increase regular patrols. More police forces have actually been deployed to contain this situation”, General Salva Mathok Gengdit, Deputy Minister of Interior said on Wednesday. Gengdit made the remarks in exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune, during which he spoke on a wide range of issues but made no mention of how many police forces were being deployed.
He pledged police commitment to investigating crimes especially murder cases and bringing the perpetrators to justice. According to Gengdit, despite challenges the police would try to contain the rise in crime; saying efforts are underway to ensure that the constraint becomes a thing of the past soon.
South Sudan’s second top policemen urged the members of the public to support police force and strengthen the existing cooperation. "Public support in providing information to the police is very important because without public support, there cannot be any effective police service", he said. The police are the community and the community is the police.
“So we have to work closely to make sure that the country becomes a crime-free nation. Let the community also understand that we are their servants and not their masters. I also urge every police officer to have that in mind that he/she is a servant of the public. So I expect the police to treat the public with respect and a high standard of discipline".
Gengdit said he expected every policemen to salute and smile at everyone, as a sign if respect, making people more likely to cooperate with the police.
"I will also urge the public if they see police officers doing anything, let them come forward and put up their complaint at the ‘Complaints and Discipline Unit’ at the Police Headquarters in Juba. We are again trying to establish a ‘Professional Standards Unit’ and we have somebody that we identified already to head that unit,” he stated.
John Garang Deng, a police officer at the ministry of interior said received the report on Tuesday that a car carrying passengers traveling from Eastern Equatoria to Juba was attacked but none of the passengers was hurt.
"It was sprayed with bullets damaging the radiator, windscreen, and front tyre. We are told the passengers managed to drive with the flat tyre to a nearby station where they stopped and left the car. One of the bullets shot through the windscreen, through the steering wheel but fortunately it missed the driver. The passengers safely came to Juba. This signifies security threat that still exists”, he explained.