Miss New Zealand visits Community Policing Project in Timor-Leste
Dili, 9 September 2010 – Miss World New Zealand 2010, Cody Yerkovich, is in Timor-Leste to show support for the country's development. Miss Yerkovich visited Suai, Covalima District, where a Community Policing Pilot Project is being led by United Nations Police officers from New Zealand.
There she met National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) Officer Amelia Amaral of the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU), who explained the importance and activities of the VPU. Suai's VPU office was built with support from the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID).
Miss New Zealand also visited the Suai Early Childhood Centre, which is supported by ChildFund. During her visit, she met Timorese children sponsored by families in New Zealand. Among the children she met was Flavia, a young girl who is sponsored by Ms Yerkovich's grandparents.
Community policing engages communities in preventing and solving crime. UN Police in Timor-Leste work with their PNTL colleagues to develop more community-friendly approaches to policing. These efforts include intensive training on how police and communities can work together to solve issues contributing to crime.