Thursday, December 06, 2007

Violent Crime In Iraq Reaches Yearly LOW

Thursday, 06 December 2007
Task Force Marne Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER — Iraqi Police in the Mada’in Qada recently reported yearly lows for violent crime to officers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT).

The 3rd HBCT deployed to Iraq in March in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has operated in the qada, southeast of Baghdad, throughout the deployment.

Iraqi Police in the qada forward crime statistics to their Coalition Force partners at the end of each month. The statistics are compiled by police officers at the five police stations throughout the qada.

For November, Iraqi Police reported eight murders and five kidnappings. This is a significant drop from the yearly high in May of 37 murders and 22 kidnappings.

“In 2005 the Mada’in Qada had 355 murders. In 2006 the qada had 631 murders. This year we expect to have about 290 murders,” said Maj. David Fivecoat, from Delaware, Ohio, 3rd HBCT operations officer. “The downward trend in murders is due to several reasons: the work of the Soldiers of the 3rd HBCT, the development of over 3,000 Concerned Local Citizens, and the continued improvement of the Iraqi Police. The decrease in murders is a key indicator that safety and security are returning to the qada. It is an encouraging sign for its 1.2 million residents.”

Capt. Liz Cain, 59th Military Police Company commander, attributes the drop in crime to improvements in the Iraqi Police, security, and the economy. She further explained that Concerned Local Citizen groups have contributed to the improving security situation.

“These individuals are not only taking a stand against terrorists, but also against lawless behavior within their communities,” Cain said.

Mada’in Iraqi Police District Commander, Brig. Gen. Adnan Jamad Kathim said through a translator, “misdemeanor crime decreased 40 percent, improvised explosive device incidents decreased 66 percent and car bombings decreased 100 percent from October.”

Cain believes Iraqi Police training is a significant factor in the criminal activity decrease in the qada as well. Dozens of Policemen have attended the Ministry of Interior (MOI) investigative courses in Baghdad.

“Recently, many Iraqi Policemen have been educated on crime scene procedures and evidence collection,” she said. “They have come back from the MOI investigative course with the ability to piece a case together.”

When evidence and paperwork is collected and taken to the judge, Cain said, a warrant is issued for the arrest, or if the individual is already detained, he is permitted to be held pending a trial date.

“The completion of this process and the actual convictions and jailing of criminals have increased the population’s trust in the Iraqi Police and encourages them to call the police at the first sign of suspicious behavior,” Cain said. “This trust between the populace and the Iraqi Police has grown and they have become partners in fighting crime. We can expect the crime levels to continue to drop.”

The 59th MP Company is currently attached to the 3rd HBCT. The 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March

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