Overall, the security situation in 2008 remained generally calm and manageable. A total of 3,094 crime incidents were reported in all districts. Due to improved reporting mechanisms, there was a slight increase in the number of reported crimes, specifically a difference of 269 incidents or less than 1% compared with 2007 (2,825 incidents).
The largest numbers of crimes were assault, public disorder and domestic disputes.
The United Nations Police (UNPol) continued to provide operational support to the PNTL including supporting them in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes such as murders, fraud and official corruption.
UNPol also worked with the PNTL on patrols, cordon and search operations on illegal drug outlets and suspected human trafficking joints, provided security for major events and on the evacuation of IDP camps and on the general management of civil disturbances, riots and public disorder situations.
Other progress was made with the opening of Border Patrol Unit in May 2008 to provide operational support to the existing PNTL Border Police Personnel. The Becora Market Police post was established in September in 2008 to help provide security for the IDPs relocated at the Becora Market Transitional Shelter.
In 2008, assessment teams were established to determine in which districts the PNTL would begin to resume full responsibility. It is expected that the PNTL will resume responsibility in all districts in 2009. However, the following four criteria will need to be met before the PNTL can resume full responsibility -
(a) the ability of the PNTL to respond appropriately to the security environment in a given district;
(b) final certification of at least 80 per cent of eligible PNTL officers in a given district/unit to be handed over;
(c) the availability of initial operational logistical requirements; and (d) institutional stability.
After the PNTL have resumed all responsibilities, the role of UNPol will be to continue advising, monitoring, supporting and providing assistance to the PNTL.
Image: East Timor National Police (PNTL) march in Dili.
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