Mmegi Online :: Phikwe police brace for festive crime
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Last Updated
Monday 23 January 2017, 16:44 pm.
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Phikwe police brace for festive crime

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Police here have intensified crime prevention operations for this year’s festive season as an increase in crime is anticipated following the closure of the BCL Mine.
By Imi Mokgethi Wed 21 Dec 2016, 22:57 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Phikwe police brace for festive crime








Speaking to Mmegi in an interview, Selebi-Phikwe police station commander Superintendent Victor Nlebesi highlighted that since this will be the first ever festive holidays after the closure of BCL mine, there will be many vacant houses that could attract thieves.

He therefore stated that they have extra-ordinary measures in place to ensure that they prevent the possible house breaking and theft that has been common in the copper and nickel town since the mine was closed especially in the BCL residential area.

“We have identified the vacant houses that were occupied by the former miners and have since intensified the neighbourhood watch exercise to assist in preventing vandalism in those houses,” he said.

Nlebesi stated that they have registered some cases of house breaking and theft in some of the unoccupied BCL houses where electronic appliances such as geysers, aircons and stoves were stolen. He said that they have arrested some of the culprits and are still to appear before court, adding that they have intelligence officers on the ground who are investigating the break-ins and warned the thieves to surrender the goods.

“We are going to do all it takes to recover those stolen goods even if it means following them outside the country,” Nlebesi warned.

He noted that through the assistance of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and community volunteers, who will continue to partner with them, they have managed to put the situation under control, as they have not received any new cases since November to date.

Furthermore, Nlebesi revealed that they are currently investigating a break-in and theft at one of the BCL Mine shaft, Number 3, where 20 ‘Willards’ batteries for locomotives worth approximately P100,000 were stolen in October.

He said

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they have information that they are being sold around the country and urged buyers to assist them with some information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits.

He implored residents to cooperate with the law enforcers in order for their campaign against crime to be a success.

He further urged the liquor sellers to adhere to the stipulated alcohol selling times during the holidays, saying that the current economic challenges in the area should not be an excuse for breaking the law.

He highlighted that they are unaware of the recent announcement by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng that the entertainment hours will be extended on December 24 to 25 and 31 as well as January 1, 2017.

“We have not received any communication from the relevant authorities and it is for this reason that we will stick to the normal times as provided by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry,” Nlebesi said.

Minister Olopeng on Friday posted on his Facebook page that the entertainment hours have been extended to 6am on those days, indicating that the extension only applies to entertainment and not to the sale of alcohol.

In the meantime, Botshabelo police station commander Superintendent Gothusamang Badubi also highlighted that they are prepared to ensure safety of people and property during the festive period.

She added that they are working with the mine’s security personnel in ensuring that there are no more break-ins, stating that so far they have recorded two cases of theft at the Number One shaft since the closure of the mine.

“In those cases, copper blocks and two laptops were stolen and the culprits are still at large,” Badubi said.

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