More than 100 inhabitants of Novo Brdo, from Serbian, Albanian and Roma communities protested today in front of the police station in Bostane village due to frequent thefts in this area, KIM Radio reported.
There were six stealing cases of larger cattle this year and no one was held responsible. Police failed to find and prosecute perpetrators of thefts committed in earlier years as well.
Local priest from Bostane village, Stevo Mitric noted that all communities, Serbs, Albanians, Roma are affected by frequent thefts.
“We just want minimal conditions to live normally. There is no person in our municipality left without theft,” Mitric said.
Kosovo Albanian Enver Lapashtica, whose two cows were stolen four months ago, is disappointed with the work of the police.
“If they failed to protect me, living in close proximity of police station in Bostane, what other people can expect,” Lapashtica said.
Sreten Stojkovic from Paralovo village faced similar destiny, four cows belonging to him were stolen. That is why he no longer keeps large cattle, despite it being the only source of income for his family.
“What can I tell you, everything is getting stolen, cattle, wood, everything is target of thieves. No protection whatsoever. I had to sell the remaining cattle I had, and now I am buying milk for my children,” Stojkovic said.
Kosovo police commander in Novo Brdo, Shukri Alija told RTV Puls he hopes there would be no need for further protests, and that criminals would be stopped soon.
“I support requests from the inhabitants to strengthen human and material resources of the police in order to make the fight against criminals more efficient,” Aliju said.
The Novo Brdo municipality is one of the largest in Kosovo, and expands to 200 square kilometres, however, it has only 20 police officers and few vehicles, which is insufficient to prevent criminals.
Thefts in this municipality became intensified over the last years, and targets of thefts include everything from cattle, vehicles and trucks, to agricultural machinery and shops, while forests are almost completely devastated due to years-long illegal woodcutting, KIM Radio reported.