“The Liberia National Police will not support men who continuously violate women’s right and we will not compromise. We will tackle and prosecute them”, Col. Chris Massaquoi, LNP Director
Monrovia - The Director of the Liberia National Police, Chris Massaquoi said parents leave their children vulnerable, thus leading to the high number of rape cases in the country. But the Police is urging parents not to compromise rape cases, but to instead report them to the Police for action to be taken against perpetrators.
“The vulnerability of the children leaving them unattended to and without support, especially the little ones who will have to strive on their own is contributing to the increase in rape cases,” he said. “There are issues with poverty, but you can’t allow it to lead you to risking the lives of children. We are calling on parents to report rape to the Police do not compromise those cases as parents and officials.”
Col. Massaquoi stressed that the Police will not relent in prosecuting men who violate the rights of women in the country. Col. Massaquoi made the comment when the Police and its partners launched a pilot project under the theme, joint community Police initiative in Margibi and Grand Bassa counties.
The program is geared toward improving national, regional, community service delivery, strengthening the security sector with well-structured and well organized community involvement in fostering public trust and confidence in the security agencies by enabling a bottom to top approach.
The project is also geared toward increasing community participation in security relevant matters, since they are mostly affected. He said the project is people-centered, simple, well understood and accessible. He said the Police will execute a number of activities with measurable performance indicators in a reasonable period of time, defined by the project owners.
The program was attended by several officers of the LNP including Gregory Coleman, UNPOL representative Walz Felix, Acting City Mayor of Unification town Emmanuel Fartumau and residents of the county. Director Massaquoi said: “We want to make sure that every aspect is tackled on women, namely domestic violence, rape and persistent nonsupport.”
He continued: The issue of domestic violence and rape are critical in our society and I and the LNP take it very, very serious.” “Rape is a global problem for all communities and societies; mostly the war stricken countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia, during our crisis, it was used against women and children that led to their death.”
“The community has to put its act together; that is, from the commissioner to the common people, you have to work together to address the issue of rape and domestic violence.” The LNP boss said crimes are not committed by strangers, but people who are within the community. “It is committed by the brothers, sisters and nephews, people that live right among you,” he said.
He called on community dwellers to gather and find solutions regarding the issue of rape. Col. Massaquoi said, though there is a law on the book which makes it very clear that rape is taken seriously by the government people are still committing the crime.
“Whether you are above 18 or below 18, rape is a non-bailable offense, if you are caught, apprehended, you will be immediately charged and sent to court, you can bring the best lawyer or enough money, but you will go to jail.” The Police boss also said the Police remains committed in fighting and tackling the issues of rape. “It’s not that we will join the fight, but we are already a part, we have laid down examples, we have arrested, apprehended, prosecuted in compliance with the law,” he said.
“There is a zero tolerance on domestic violence and rape. All I can say is, ‘men, be careful with your temperament." He said actions have been taken against Police officers that attempt or attempted to compromise rape cases or domestic violence cases. “We have suspended and dismissed them and we will not hesitate to prosecute, dismiss and suspend them if they repeat the act,” he said.
The LNP boss continued; “We are not joking with those offences, we have the crime service division that deals with such criminal acts, issues with domestic problems depending on the degree like non persistent child support under our watch that is not going to happen for a mother to single-handedly raise a child, when you the man is alive.”
“Once you are healthy you will support that child, I am appealing to you women that if a man impregnate you and leave, don’t feel sorry for him, come and inform, us and we will order him to support that child.”