FRANCISTOWN: Northern police Division Commander Senior Assistant commissioner, Cynthia Setilo has gingerly said that crime has slightly dropped over the past two quarters.
She said crime has gone down by marginal rates, especially gender-based-violence (GBV) cross border crimes.
Setilo was addressing the North East District Council meeting that was held on Tuesday this week in Masunga.
She acknowledged that it is a well-known fact that there is an outcry about crime nationwide inclusive of North East district. She said that crime remains a serious challenge because whatever level it is at, it means that someone has been victimised, sexually abused, defamed, assaulted or lost property.
When presenting statistics on crime between the two quarters since the beginning of this year, Setilo said that they have registered an overall of 150 offences during the first quarter of the year as compared to 426 illegal acts recorded on the second quarter of the year.
She further said that the growth rate for the crime between the two quarters is at 184%.
The Northern Division Commander stated that they have also recorded nil cases of COVID-19 contraventions during the first quarter of the year as compared to 331 cases registered during the second quarter, which gives a 100% growth rate in the crime.
She also said that they also recorded a 100% growth rate after registering zero and one case of incest between the two periods respectively.
She said that the number of rape cases received a -10% growth rate after they registered 10 cases of rape in the first quarter as opposed to nine recorded during second quarter of the year.
She added; “We have also recorded nil cases of murder between the two periods. We have also registered seven in contrast to six cases of defilements between the first and second quarters respectively.”
Setilo also indicated that they have registered 17 and 18 cases of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (A.O.A.B.H) between the months of January to March and April until June separately.
She said that they have recorded 68 and 38 cases of assault common during the first and second
When addressing the issue of cross border crime which include stock theft, smuggling of goods, break-ins and others, Setilo said that they have registered 48 and 23 cases between the first and second quarter of this year respectively.
She further stated that the most troubled stretch of the cross border crime is the Maitengwe-Motopi and Matsiloje borderline with most of the goods smuggled into and from Zimbabwe through un-gazetted points of entry.
She also said that as a result, seven Special Support Group (SSG) camps were established from Maitengwe village to Motopi to curb the incidents of cross border crimes as well as to maintain a consistent and permanent border patrol presence along the borderline.
On a different matter, Setilo indicated that illegal immigrants are another issue of concern across the district extending to here (Francistown) and surrounding areas. She added: “A total of 5, 790 illegal immigrants were arrested during the first quarter compared to 1, 100 during the second quarter.”
She said that the statistics of illegal immigrants suggested that due to lockdown restrictions, the number of illegal immigrants dropped by 4,690 during the second quarter (April-June 2020).
According to northern division commander, GBV was still one of the most prevalent violations of human rights nationwide, one of the least prosecuted crimes and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development.
She said that GBV was a crime that degraded human beings and at the same time most of the GBV crimes went unreported because of fear of stigmatisation in their society.
She added: “ You will agree with me that according to the world rankings for countries with the highest rates of GBV (Number of incidents per 100, 000 citizens), Botswana is ranked at number two. This is an indication that we still have some worst forms of GBV countrywide, no matter how minimal the figures are in the district.”