FRANCISTOWN: Authorities here are happy about the decreasing crime statistics at Monarch, one of the city’s most dangerous areas.
In an interview with The Monitor, Monarch Customary Court President Moses Gunny said in the past, the area used to be crime-infested. Gunny said crimes like murder, rape, common nuisance, defilement, house breaking and burglary used to give them headache. To overcome the high crime incidents, Gunny said that they developed strategic relationships with stakeholders amongst them residents, politicians, social workers and the police- a move that has proved to be effective.
“During Kgotla meetings I have always called all stakeholders to lend a hand in fighting crime and I am happy to say that are our efforts have been successful even though there are pockets of criminal incidents that are still happening in Monarch,” said Gunny. He added: “The crime levels in this area decreased after the completion of the Monarch Infrastructural Development Project. There are streetlights that prevent criminals from committing crimes as opposed to the past when it was very dark at night. The residents have also heeded our call of not harbouring illegal immigrants who were mostly involved in many criminal activities. We plead with people who are still doing so to stop forthwith because they are encouraging crime.”
The chief also attributed the decreasing crime rates to people who volunteer to join crime prevention committees in the area.
“Since the start of new traditional liquor regulations crime has greatly decreased in Monarch. Police visibility during the day and at night have also helped to reverse the scourge of crime in our area,” said Gunny.
The Station Commander of Central police station Lebalang Maniki echoed Gunny’s sentiments.
Maniki said that there were three and two cases of robbery were recorded in the area in 2013 and 2014 respectively. “Three and four cases of house breaking were recorded in Monarch in 2013 and 2014 respectively while two cases and one case of burglary and theft were recorded in the area in 2013 and 2014 respectively,” said Maniki adding that one case of murder was recorded in Monarch in 2013, while none was reported in 2014. Maniki is however concerned by the increasing number of common assault cases in Monarch. “ We have recorded 85 and 79 cases of assault in 2013 and in 2014 respectively. The numbers are still high even though there was a decrease in 2014 because even one case is one too many,” said Maniki.
Maniki further said that they are going to work hard together with the community to combat the illegal immigrants that are responsible for most crimes that happen in the area. Monarch residents are also delighted about the decreasing levels of crimes in their area, which they say are mostly committed by illegal immigrants. Gaabolae Maikano, 60, said that police are working hard in reversing the pervasive culture of crime that is rampant in the area.