Crime on the rise

SHARE   |   Monday, 07 November 2016   |   By Staff Writer
Botswana Police officers on duty Botswana Police officers on duty

The once peaceful city of Gaborone has turned into a crime heaven with criminals making a kill almost daily. The city has in recent months experienced a surge in criminal activities, leaving residents in constant fear. Goods are stolen, cars jacked and people killed at will. Not even the comfort of the homes can keep people safe as the perpetrators also find a way of breaking in to their houses. Citizens, homes, cars and businesses have not been spared. Recently a man was murdered at his home in Block 6 when robbers broke into his home. In another incident former Botswana ambassador to America Tebelelo Seretse’s home was invaded by unknown assailants who made away with a number of household goods. The incident that happened early September this year also saw Seretse losing her van. Former cabinet minister Charles Tibone also suffered the same fate early this year when assailants broke into his home Phakalane and stole expensive gadgets. Some are attacked at as they leave or arrive at their homes at night and are robbed or their cars taken.

Recently businesses have come under new attack. Choppies spokesperson Otsile Marole said in 2016 alone 16 crime cases involving Choppies shops. “There have been 11 cases of break-ins and four cases of robbery at our various shops across the country,” revealed Marole. She revealed that all the cases are currently under investigation at various police stations where the crimes happened. A number of cases have taken place within the Mogoditshane policing area. It has emerged that in four of the incidents the perpetrators have used a rather uncommon method of blasting the shops to gain entry. Marole confirmed this. Despite this Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Superintendent Bonosi Molapisi could not confirm nor deny if indeed crime is on the rise. Supt Molapisi acknowledged that crime is indeed there but is manageable. “I am saying crime is manageable in the sense that it is fluctuating,” said Supt Molapisi.  He said in every quarter the crime rate is different and if it is growing in is not at alarming rates.

Molapisi said they are working to mitigate the house break-ins by working closely with clusters. “When people come together even the thieves can realise this and stay away from their neighbourhood,” said Molapisi. He pointed out that in his area of policing house break-ins have gone down. However, the station commander said they are worried by the growing tread in which people pose as hitchhikers only to rob or highjack the unsuspecting drivers. Four cases of this sort have been reported so far in his area. In other areas there have been reports that some drivers have been killed in incidents of similar matter. Molapisi urged people to be on a look out when driving through the city to avoid falling preys. However Molapisi said in his area they have not registered this kind of break-in where thieves blast the entry points to go through. Nonetheless he said they share information on crime prevention with business owners. “We continuously give them crime prevention tips to help reduce crime. This also helps us know when the businesses might be highly vulnerable so that we can deploy officers to the different businesses,” said Molapisi. 

He explained that the police visibility at the shops help deter the culprits from robbing or breaking into the buildings. Molapisi also revealed that they at times deploy plain-clothed officers to investigate as a way of detecting crime either at shops or any place of interest to thieves. According to him, this has helped as some people have been arrested as a result of these initiatives. Shop owners on the other hand are not sitting and watching as they are investing in CCTV cameras to secure their businesses. However the news trends used by thieves prove to be getting sophisticated by day.