UN peacekeeping force welcomes improvement to operations by Haitian police

17 August 2010Haiti’s police force is becoming substantially more effective, capturing and arresting a series of suspects accused of recent kidnappings and sending a clear signal to criminal elements, the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Caribbean country says. The mission, known as MINUSTAH, commended the police force (HNP) for conducting two successful operations in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets since last Friday that led to the release of three people who had been abducted and the arrest of five people.One of the people arrested has been sought since he escaped from the Haitian national penitentiary following the catastrophic earthquake which struck the country on 12 January, MINUSTAH reported yesterday.Jean-Francois Vezina, a spokesperson for UN Police (UNPOL) serving with the mission, said the operations provide “a clear message” from the HNP in its fight against crime, especially kidnappings, which are a persistent problem in the impoverished country.“It is satisfying to see how our fellow Haitian police are becoming more effective from day to day,” Mr. Vezina added. “The technical support that UNPOL provides daily to the HNP is bearing fruit and I encourage people to continue to denounce crimes by calling 113 [the public hotline number].”The mission and UNPOL have a mandate to strengthen the capacity of Haiti’s national police so that it can better serve the population.

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