In the midst of COVID-19 and curfew, the level of crime such as burglary, house breaking and theft remain concerns in greater Gaborone.
Following a surge in such crimes, police have urged residents to exercise vigilance in their homes to protect their property as break-ins spiral out of control. Even though the numbers have dipped in some areas the police said theft remains a concern and therefore called on members of the public to unite by forming neighborhood watch groups.
This is according to information provided by station commanders of Broadhurst, and Gaborone West, Superintendent Obusitswe Lokae and Onious Madziba.
Meanwhile, some members of the public across social media platforms have attributed the spiral of the crimes to high unemployment rate amongst the youth who have been identified as leading perpetrators. In addition, city dwellers are of the view that the increase in the crimes is due to the fact that majority of them spend most of their time at work thus making it easy for thieves to have access to property and homes.
Furthermore, residents say greater Gaborone is the haven for criminals because it is overwhelmed by high numbers of people relocating from far-flung villages for greener pastures. Due to that, the city continues to experience an upsurge in criminal activities that has left residents in constant fear of their lives.
To that end, the police have stepped up patrols and warn residents to be more aware of security following the recent strings of burglary and house breaking incidents in the area.
In an interview with Mmegi, Lokae of Broadhurst police said burglary, house breaking and theft are common crimes in his policing area keeping the police on their toes with Tsholofelo, Phakalane and Oodi areas having notable incidents of crime.
Lokae disclosed that they have recorded 21 cases of burglary in April, the numbers that escalated to 33 in May. Addressing house breaking and theft, Lokae said they recorded 17 cases in April and 13 cases in May.
“House breaking incidents are
“Reports of burglary are a daily occurrence with three to four cases reported in a week. These criminals spend the entire day loitering around the area, studying people’s movements and looking for the target later at night to steal from. Whilst in their sleep inhabitants are awakened by suspicious movements in their houses not knowing how the thieves got their way into the house,” Lokae said.
Lokae further applauded residents of Tsholofelo East, West and Ginger locations for their strong neighborhood watch citing that the groups have since produced good results towards the reduction of crime incidents in their areas.
For his part, Madziba of Gaborone West Police Station said cases of burglary, house breaking and theft have slightly declined amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
“In May we recorded four cases of house breaking as compared a single case in April. Addressing this phenomenon years ago, special task teams were deployed and police patrols were also intensified to focus on crime-prone areas something that contributed to the reduction,” Madziba said.
Madziba revealed his office has established that usually the crimes take place because people do not pay much attention to their valuables as they leave their homes unoccupied while housing expensive property.
“Some people especially after entertaining themselves through drinking alcohol have a tendency of sleeping leaving their doors unlocked and windows wide open something that makes them easy targets for criminals,” Madziba said.