Rwanda National Police (RNP) said Friday that its current number of youth volunteers that help it tackle crime in communities is very small, and wants more.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza said the force has 380,000 youth volunteers so far. He was speaking at the launch of the ‘Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing’, which will be their umbrella organization.
“The number is still very small,” said IGP Munyuza. “Our objective is to have Rwandans enjoying a crime-free environment. To attain this, the number of youth volunteers has to increase. By the end of this year, we should have mobilised one million (1m) because what is clear is that the more the numbers, the less the crimes.”
The police works with these youths in their communities to detect and report crimes, as well as implement communal development activities. They conduct regular campaigns on things like drug abuse and teenage pregnancies.
The youth teams also help vulnerable members of their communities like setting up kitchen gardens, reporting families whose children are not in school and renovating homes of the poorest families.
For example, last year, the coordinators say they set up 130,000 kitchen gardens, 1,700 children who had abandoned school went back, built 600 new houses, and renovated 3,000 other existing homes.
With a million youth crime preventers across the country, it means there will be 67 members of Police’s volunteers for each of the 14,837 Villages that make up Rwanda.
In a country of about 11.3m population, with over 60% said to be young people, according to government estimates, it suggests one in every six of the county’s youths will be a police volunteer.