Crime Watch: 2018 in Per­spec­tive

The year 2018 has gone but not without liv­ing in­deli­ble marks in com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­u­larly in mat­ters of crime and polic­ing.

The Manica Post - - Local News/ Crime Watch - Lux­son Chanda Crime Watch

As usual, we all suf­fered in one way or an­other at the hands of crim­i­nals but then we man­aged to work to­gether so as to cush­ion our­selves from ef­fects of their ac­tiv­i­ties.

It is against this back­ground that the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice ap­plauds the cit­i­zenry for help­ing drive its 2018 thrust of re-con­nect­ing with the peo­ple and re­brand­ing its iden­tity. The crimes so com­mit­ted helped us re­visit our ap­proaches to crime pre­ven­tion an as­pect we con­tinue to pin our hopes on in the so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of our peo­ple.

The po­lice con­tin­ues to un­der­score the im­por­tance of ap­ply­ing our­selves fully to tar­get hard­en­ing and re­moval tech­niques as we get into 2019. A re­minder of the sta­tus quo as re­gards spe­cific crimes in 2018 can surely po­si­tion us in the right mode es­pe­cially when con­sid­er­ing that we have a task to en­sure in­ci­dents of crime are greatly re­duced in the new year.

Cases of Rape and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence man­aged un­der the ban­ner of the Po­lice’s Vic­tim Friendly Unit along­side other stake­hold­ers in the multi-sec­toral ap­proach con­tin­ued to wreak havoc in com­mu­ni­ties. Of con­cern was the rape of ju­ve­niles and that of daugh­ters by their bi­o­log­i­cal fathers. While it is not this writ­ing’s in­ten­tion to visit the sta­tis­ti­cal stand­ings, it is cru­cial to note that cam­paigns con­tacted in res­i­den­tial ar­eas of po­ten­tial vic­tims, schools and churches to some ex­tent man­aged to un­ravel a num­ber of un­re­ported cases.

It is sad to note that a num­ber of rape cases could have been avoided had most vic­tims, their rel­a­tives friends and col­leagues been em­pow­ered on pre­ven­tive mea­sures. It is im­por­tant for ev­ery po­ten­tial vic­tim to be re­minded that nearly ev­ery other per­son par­tic­u­larly males are po­ten­tial abusers. Think of the Odzi case where a sixty-four year old man raped his eigh­teenyear-old daugh­ter sev­eral times un­der the guise of cur­ing an ail­ment. The of­fence only came to light when the girl fell preg­nant. For rape cases, we urge every­one to keep a close eye on their chil­dren. It has been shown that abuse of­ten leaves tell­tale marks on the vic­tim and the re­sul­tant be­havioural changes can be so pro­nounced. All we need do is keep our eyes and ears wide open.

On a dif­fer­ent but re­lated note, cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cost lives as cou­ples fought. Un­rests within the home have also sub­jected chil­dren to abuse as th­ese are of­ten left alone when cou­ples di­vorce or die as a re­sult of the vi­o­lence or sui­cide. The po­lice made sev­eral ap­peals for peo­ple in fam­ily set-ups to en­gage com­mu­nity and re­li­gious lead­ers, coun­selors, third par­ties or the Po­lice Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions Li­ai­son Of­fice so as to try and re­solve con­flicts.

It is equally wor­ry­ing to note that the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 2018 16 days of ac­tivism against gen­der based vi­o­lence ended with the Chikanga grue­some mur­der of a young man at the hands of his wife.

We im­plore ev­ery sin­gle per­son to come, join hands and take party in rais­ing aware­ness on the dan­gers of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and help in fam­ily con­flict res­o­lu­tion as far as pos­si­ble.

Rob­bers, par­tic­u­larly the ma­chete wield­ing troupe, made a name for them­selves for the wrong rea­sons. While the ar­rest of some of th­ese crim­i­nals brought re­lief and re­duced fear of crime among res­i­dence, it is im­por­tant to al­ways re­call some of the ap­proaches that we sug­gested as th­ese could help stop the cul­prits from rear­ing their ugly heads again. The po­lice, es­pe­cially in Mutare Cen­tral District cir­cu­lated con­tact num­bers for po­lice of­fi­cers and sta­tion so as to en­able res­i­dence to promptly reach po­lice ser­vice when at­tacked. We con­tinue to urge the pub­lic to re­mem­ber that one of the most im­por­tant con­tacts a per­son can have in your phone is that of the po­lice.

In­stal­la­tion of se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties, alarm sys­tems, and CCTVs re­main key in pro­tect­ing our­selves and our homes from bur­glary, theft, and cases of rob­bery. Equally im­por­tant is the es­tab­lish­ment of co­op­er­a­tion net­works and en­sur­ing we be­come our brother’s keeper in times of dis­tress.

Some crimes of con­cern that caused a stir need us to keep a close fol­low-up on pre­ven­tive tech­niques that the po­lice bring you from time to time. Th­ese in­clude Mur­der, As­saults, Stock theft, Fraud, smug­gling, and con­tra­ven­tions of the immigration act.

As we com­mence 2019, let us re­mem­ber that it is al­ways pru­dent to be con­ver­sant with po­lice op­er­a­tions and way of do­ing things. This is so be­cause the year 2018 was also fraught with a num­ber of com­plaints against po­lice some gen­uine yet some arising from ig­no­rance of ba­sic po­lice pro­ce­dure and op­er­a­tions of the law. We be­lieve an em­pow­ered com­mu­nity can greatly help reign in our op­er­a­tional staff and at the same time pro­tect it­self from harsh re­al­i­ties of crime.

We also sound a call for the gen­eral pub­lic to hand in writ­ten com­pli­ments where good work is done in the same man­ner they sub­mit com­plaints. This is a sure way of mo­ti­vat­ing good work per­formed by our mem­bers.

Let us re­mem­ber that prevent­ing crime is every­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

◆ In­serted by: ZRP Man­i­ca­land Press and Pub­lic Re­la­tions

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