Po­lice, com­mu­nity tackle crime in Mafeteng

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

PO­LiCE in Matelile are strength­en­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to help prevent crime and en­sure that per­pe­tra­tors of var­i­ous crimes are swiftly ar­rested.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of crime aware­ness cam­paigns tar­get­ing 333 vil­lages, po­lice are op­ti­mistic that many peo­ple are be­gin­ning to un­der­stand the pos­i­tive ben­e­fits of work­ing with po­lice to prevent crime. at least nine mur­der sus­pects were ar­rested in the last three months — with sup­port from the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

The sus­pects were nabbed in re­la­tion with the Famo-re­lated mur­der cases that oc­curred from a pe­riod be­tween Jan­uary and au­gust 2017. Po­lice are also help­ing the com­mu­ni­ties to es­tab­lish crime prevention net­works to en­hance sus­tained com­mu­nity polic­ing ini­tia­tives.

Speak­ing dur­ing a crime prevention aware­ness cam­paign or­ga­nized by the po­lice at Maliepet­sana vil­lage, the Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Matelile, Se­nior in­spec­tor Mot­samai kholumo said since they started work­ing with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties’ crime has sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of part­ner­ing with the public be­cause that is the only way we can get in­for­ma­tion that can lead us to ar­rest­ing per­pe­tra­tors. it is also an ef­fec­tive way to en­sure we prevent crime,” Snr insp kholumo said.

When a crime hap­pens, or is about to hap­pen, there is al­ways some­one who is aware, Snr insp kholumo said.

“in most cases, a friend or rel­a­tive may know crim­i­nal plots before they hap­pen or they ac­tu­ally stay with the per­pe­tra­tor and know where he or she hid stolen goods or a mur­der weapon.

“We would like to con­tinue to en­cour­age those who know some­thing to work with us and help us to en­sure a crime-free and peace­ful Matelile,” he said, adding that the po­lice were cur­rently mo­bi­liz­ing peo­ple in il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of arms to sur­ren­der them to the po­lice, as one of the ef­fec­tive ways to prevent crimes such as mur­der and armed rob­bery.

in ad­di­tion, he fur­ther ex­plained, part­ner­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties has also en­abled the po­lice to do more with lit­tle re­sources.

He said with the help of the com­mu­ni­ties, they can eas­ily get in­for­ma­tion that can help them to ar­rest per­pe­tra­tors or botch planned crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Re­sources are not al­ways enough, and that is why we thought it cost-ef­fec­tive to part­ner with the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to im­prove on what we can achieve with our lim­ited re­sources. We could not af­ford to sit and be frus­trated while crim­i­nals went on a ram­page, we had to be in­no­va­tive to en­sure law and or­der,” Snr insp kholumo said.

He said only 26 po­lice of­fi­cers are tasked to serve 333 vil­lages, which makes it chal­leng­ing to con­duct reg­u­lar oper­a­tions such as po­lice vis­i­bil­ity.

De­spite a small team of po­lice of­fi­cers, in the third quar­ter of the year, po­lice man­aged to make sig­nif­i­cant ar­rests in the 25 re­ported cases of crimes in­clud­ing mur­der, il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms and rob­bery.

also present at the gath­er­ing was the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Maliepet­sana Con­stituency, Mr Mpali­pali Molefe. He told the gath­er­ing to co­op­er­ate with the po­lice to rid the area of crime, some of which have tar­nished the im­age of the dis­trict.

“Fol­low­ing the many Famore­lated killings re­ported in the last two years in the Mafeteng dis­trict, we should all know by now that crime does not pay but only causes pain.

“There are bit­ter con­se­quences for those who choose to live by the gun and cause pain to in­no­cent peo­ple. in this vil­lage, peo­ple must not live in fear, we need peace,” Mr Molefe said.

He said the pres­ence of var­i­ous stake­hold­ers at the crime prevention aware­ness cam­paign in his con­stituency was ev­i­dence of how crime is a ma­jor headache for every ad­vo­cate of peace.

“We are all here be­cause we care, we are con­cerned about the Famo killings and other crimes. it is every­one’s duty to make sure that we stop crime through work­ing with the po­lice in mak­ing sure that those who com­mit crime are put in jail where they be­long.”

He urged those in­volved in crime to re­pent and sur­ren­der them­selves to the po­lice while those hid­ing un­li­censed guns to sur­ren­der them to the po­lice.

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