Low crime recorded in Francistown over festive season

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Chedza Mmolawa

Amidst all the debate currently taking place in the country concerning the alarming crime rate recorded over the festive season, the Station Commander for Francistown Central, Superintendent Lebang Maniki said this was one of the most peaceful festive seasons they have had in his policing area. Maniki said, contrary to what many had thought would happen with the 6 to 6 festival amendments, there was less criminal activity and club dwellers as well as bar and club owners worked well with law officers and abided by the club and bar regulations. “We recorded zero incidents at bars or night clubs this past festive season. People were well behaved and there were no serious cases,” he said.

Maniki said there were no rape cases, no murder cases, no defilement cases, no serious or fatal car accidents, no burglaries and no bars or clubs were charged for not abiding by the law. He said this will surprise a lot of people as his policing area consists of some of the most notorious locations known to harbor some of the biggest criminals in the second city of the country. Francistown Central polices locations such as Monarch, light industrial and the town center.

On the other hand, Station Commander of Kutlwano Police also in Francistown, Superintendent Neo Serumole said he too is very pleased with the low crime they recorded this festive season. He said 2018 festive season was a slight improvement from the cases they recorded over the same period in 2017. He said just like in Francistown Central, there were no murder cases reported, no accidents reported, no grievous body assaults were recorded either, and bar dwellers and owners cooperated with the police well.

“However there were 2 cases of rape reported, 2 cases of defilement, 4 cases of obtaining by false pretenses, 4 burglaries, and 2 house break-ins, 2 threat to kills and 15 minor assaults (insults and slaps) were reported,” he said. The station commander said the year 2017 they recorded 8 cases of burglaries compared to the ones they recorded this past festive.

Maniki said the reason there was little crime in Francistown area this year was largely because the community of Francistown worked tirelessly hand in hand with the police. “We patrolled the streets tirelessly, but we were working hand in hand with residents of Francistown. Also their neighborhood watches helped lessen criminal activity in the area,” he said.

Overall the whole country the Botswana Police Service has from December 21st 2018 to January 3rd 2019 recorded 109 rape cases. The police also recorded a saddening 39 deaths during the period, 28 of which resulted from road traffic accidents and 11 were murder cases.

Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube revealed through a press statement that preliminary statistics report the police recorded 109 rape cases, an increase of 29 rape cases when compared to the same period last year which had 80 cases. Motube also said that most rape cases happened at different places. “This is a worrisome factor as rape is one of the violent and intrusive crimes,” Motube said in a statement.

Last year during this period 29 people died in road accidents from December 18, 2017 to January 02, 2018. The areas that were mostly affected are the south central and north central division, which covers places among others the greater Gaborone, Ramotswa, Mochudi, Selebi-Phikwe, Serowe and Letlhakane. During the current review period a total number of 105 break-ins were recorded during the operation as well as 45 robbery cases countrywide.