19th February, 2007 - Efforts by United Nations Police (UNPol) and the International Security Forces (ISF) to find five people who escaped from Becora Prison in Dili on Saturday will continue across Timor Leste over the next few days.
Efforts to date have included UNPol vehicle check points across Dili and ISF helicopter surveillance. In addition, a cordon and search operation in Liquica and other anticipated hideouts is continuing. Police in all of Timor-Leste's 13 districts have been alerted.
Five men escaped the detention facility at approximately 2.20pm on Saturday the 17th of February when they climbed over the perimeter fence. A sixth man failed in his attempt to escape.
Internal security at Becora Prison is provided by the Ministry of Justice. External security is provided by the International Security Forces.
In other policing events over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February, a total of 32 people were arrested across the country on a range of charges including assault, group fighting, arson, public disturbance and property damage.
UN Security Council resolution 1704, adopted on August 25th 2006 calls for a police presence of, at full force, up to 1,608 qualified UNPol officers coming from various nations to provide support to the PNTL through interim law enforcement, training and institutional development. They work in all capacities of policing operations including leadership, community-policing, investigations, traffic, public order and administration functions.
PNTL officers are working alongside UNPol officers in Timor-Leste's 13 districts. In Dili, a total of 1114 PNTL officers are registered with UNPol for screening. Of those, 411 have completed the PNTL provisional certification course and are on duty with UNPol. Refresher courses for other screened officers are being expedited.
For additional information, please contact: Allison Cooper, Spokesperson at +670 723 0453 or Donna Cusumano at +670 723 0749.