23 January 2010

Joint UN Police and Policia Nacional Timor-Leste Press Conference

Police Commissioner Luis Carrilho and PNTL General Commander Longuinhos Monteiro

12 January, 2010PNTL Headquarters, Dili

Excerpts from transcript of remarks by Police Commissioner Luis Carrilho

Good afternoon. Thank you for your presence here. I would like first of all to salute PNTL General Commander and to wish all of you happy New Year 2010.

First of all I would like reassure community members that UNPOL and PNTL, United Nations Police and Polícia Nacional Timor-Leste are working together all over Timor-Leste including of course the capital Dili, to assure and to maintain public order. Of course as you know we are in the resumption process in the districts where UNPOL will have the primary responsibility, together with PNTL. In the other districts we are assisting Polícia Nacional Timor-Leste to discharge the police duties.

Unfortunately we all know during the holiday period, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, police had to address more incidents than usual. I am also aware that unfortunately more than one incident had a very tragic ending, which we all consider regrettable.

As our colleagues said earlier, this case is under serious scrutiny. A joint PNTL and UNPOL internal inquiry has been launched. There is a criminal investigation going on, that as you know according to the laws in Timor-Leste, the Penal Code and the procedure of the penal code, is run by the Public Prosecutor.

In the meantime, as you know measures, were taken in terms of discipline…One PNTL officer…has been placed on preventive suspension pending internal inquiry and investigation. I can not comment on ongoing inquiry or criminal investigation. And we all should allow the case to be properly processed. I would also stress that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and given a fair trail and we should respect that. Police officers are also entitled to this right

I would like also to seize this opportunity publically, I know that the General Commander of PNTL already did it personally, but I will take this opportunity publically to express my condolences to the family of the victims of the incidents, especially of the incident at Delta Nova, the family of Mr. Correia.

I would also like to make it clear that police officers, UNPOL and PNTL, are doing their utmost to make Dili, every place in Dili and Timor-Lest,e a safe place. Law and order is an essential part, of course, of a secure society where human rights are protected, human rights of all people. And professional policing is essential to guarantee law and order.

Another essential part of law and order is of course the cooperation of the community.
We the police, we need the cooperation of the community. By listening to each other, respecting each other, working together we can make Dili and we can make Timor-Leste a safer and more secure place for everyone. Police need the support and the help of the community.

I will not focus on statistics however I can make them, we can make them available to everyone, because I know that behind every statistic there is a human face. I would like also to stress that the statistics are good in Timor-Leste. And it is important also to bear in mind that overall policing in Timor-Leste has improved greatly in the recent years, especially in the streets of Dili. And as you know Timor-Leste is now a safer place, much safer than it was in 2006, not safer only compared with 2006 but safer compared with some other places in the world. That should be our comparison. And the people and the police of this country should and can be proud of this fact.

We of course can and must do more. We UNPOL and PNTL must work hard to earn and maintain the people’s trust. We must always be there for your service in the streets of Dili, Baucau, Maliana, Suai and all the other places and towns and villages of Timor-Leste working with you to uphold law and order. We can assure you that this is our duty, and our goal is and will always be to keep working to improve ourselves to make Timor-Leste a safer place and a good place to live like it is today.

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