The Zimbabwe Republic Police has revealed that general crime in Zvishavane District increased by 37% to 5150 cases during the period running from January 2022 to September 2022 as compared to the same period last year whereby a total of 3761 cases were reported.
Speaking during the Zvishavane District 2022 Cop of the Year awards held in Zvishavane last week, the Officer Commanding Midlands province, Commissioner Winston Muza attributed the increase in crime to the relaxation of Covid 19 regulations in 2022, allowing criminals more freedom of movement to commit crimes.
“Our crime analysis indicates that general crime increased by 37% during the period extending from January 2022 as compared to the same period last year. A total of 5 150 cases were received in 2022 compared to 3761 cases received during the same period in 2021.
“The increase in crime may be attributed to the relaxation of Covid 19 regulations in 2022 resulting in increased activities giving criminals room to commit more crime. Zvishavane and Mberengwa were the affected stations.
“The district was hard hit by crimes of concern, especially murder, armed robbery (firearms and other weapons) rape (adult and juvenile), unlawful entry and theft, and stock theft cases. All these cases were on the increase except rape (both adult and juvenile) cases.
” Out of the 12 cases of armed robbery involving firearms received, the district managed to detect 5 cases and in the process clearing cases from other provinces. Two of the cases have since been finalized and accused persons were sentenced to at least 10 years imprisonment while other cases are still pending at Gweru Regional Court.
“The district is intensifying crime awareness campaigns through the office of the (District Community Relations Liaison Officer) DCRLO educating members of the public on the sanctity of human life and to avoid solving disputes through the use of violence to ensure that cases of murder are decreased,” he said.
He added that as police, they are above the situation and have stepped up their efforts by implementing strategies to ensure that the crime rate is kept under control.
“May I take this opportunity to reassure you that despite the increase in crime in general, as police, we are above the situation as evidenced by our achievements and we have stepped up our efforts by implementing strategies to ensure that our crime rate is kept under control.
“We have enhanced supervised foot and mobile police patrols in urban setups and general patrols in rural areas. Cycle patrol unit also plays a pivotal role in crime prevention as it increases police visibility. The men and women who are the recipients of awards today are a clear testimony of the fulfillment of goals set in our client service charter which aims to ensure commitment, accountability, transparency, integrity, and professionalism in our dealings with members of the public.
“It is on the above backdrop that the simple conclusion on this occasion is that Mimosa has been an all-weather stakeholder or to put it differently the elephant in the house. In our quest to fight crime, the organization has introduced community policy initiatives such as business against crime, crime liaison committee, anti-stock theft committees, neighborhood watch committees, and victim-friendly units, just to mention a few,” he added.
The Zvishavane District Cop of the Year awards are sponsored by Mimosa, and the platinum miner this year has handed over a Toyota GD6 vehicle each to the ZRP and CID Zvishavane to alleviate transport challenges faced by police officers. In addition, Mimosa also repaired and resuscitated broken-down vehicles in the district and also provided fuel for smooth operations.