According to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro, the five-year pact between the police forces of the two countries has also been mutually beneficial in maintaining peace and security along the central corridor.
“Our security is improved since we started the cooperation,” Sirro said after meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Emmanuel Gasana at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Dar es Salaam to assess the agreement’s gains so far.
He noted that for the past five years, the two forces have combined in a number of crime-fighting training ventures, particular in the area of cyber-crime which he said is still relatively new and needs to be worked on.
The cooperation between the two countries has been helpful in building Information and Technology (IT) capacity among Tanzanian police officers, Sirro said.
Rwandan police boss Gasana said law enforcers in his country have been equipped with more knowledge on crime prevention, raising hopes that the crime rate will soon drop.
In September 2012, the Tanzania and Rwandan police forces signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) highlighting key areas of cooperation like exchange of crime-related information, expertise and joint training, among others.
IGP Gasana acknowledged the presence of what he described as a “key and ever-changing policing environment” in ongoing efforts to ensure peace and security amongst the people of the region.
He noted that technological advancement has facilitated criminals to move freely across borders, thus further complicating matters somewhat.
“Increasingly, the nature of communication and information technology has paved the way for digital crimes like cybercrime, terrorism, the trafficking of human beings, economic and financial crimes,” the Rwandan police chief noted.
He added that drug trafficking, motor vehicle theft, environmental and other modern crimes call for stronger cooperation to reshape policing.
“Let us rethink our strategy and refocus with renewed determination on keeping our common borders secure, our people safer and reassured, and secure our central corridor that connects us to the world,” Gasana said.
The two police forces also committed themselves to preventing common border crossing by illegal immigrants, smugglers and human traffickers through joint border patrols, monitoring and sensitisation campaigns.
Special attention will now be jointly given to destroying cannabis farms on the Tanzanian side, and real-time information sharing on criminal activities.