Humala: Gov’t to set up fund to improve citizen security

President Ollanta Humala said Thursday that Peru will set up a fund to finance citizen security efforts as part of the new government’s efforts to crack down on crime in the country.

The fund will be created with an initial transfer from Peru’s treasury, Humala said, adding that private businesses will also be encouraged to donate.

“The fund will be used to acquire armaments, vehicles, communication equipment, uniforms, etc, what is needed by our police,” state news agency Andina reported Humala as saying. “We need to create a fund. We are going to begin it ourselves, and we’ll also ask the private sector to participate in the fund.”

Humala’s comments came during the installation of a national council to improve citizen security. The president has said he will personally lead the council.

One of the government’s first moves has been to eliminate a program called 1×1, which allows police to work their days off providing security to private businesses and earn a salary on the side. “This has made the police lose its identity,” Humala said, adding that police often don’t get enough rest which affects their work.

Last week, Peru’s cabinet approved an urgent decree that authorized the government to spend 67 million soles (approximately $27.9 million) to eliminate the program.

Humala’s decision to establish the national security council is intended to curb what is seen by many residents as growing street crime in Lima and Trujillo as well as other areas.

Humala called on the local media, which often publishes graphic photos, to restrain from broadcasting the images.

He also called on Congress to pass laws to increase penalties against those who use fire arms and attack minors.

“That is to say, if they use a fire arm even to rob a piece of bread, there should be a minimum base of X number of years [in prison],” Humala said.

The president – who has been in office for less than a month – also called on the judiciary to be cautious when releasing inmates. “Many times, a corrupt judge can be more dangerous than a criminal,” Humala said.

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