By Freeman Razemba and Tanaka Vunganai
Domestic violence cases increased by 20 percent last year in Harare as compared to 2015, as police officers have been urged to continue sharpening their crime prevention strategies in order to safeguard life and property and reduce fear of crime in the province.
Last year, police also managed to reduce crimes of concern by 5,4 percent compared to the same period in 2015.
Addressing at the Harare Province 2016 belated end of year party, Police Deputy Commissioner-General (operations) Innocent Matibiri said 377 288 cases were recorded last year compared to 356 963 in 2015.
The province, he said, was not successful as crime generally increased by four percent.
“The province recorded 149 276 cases in 2016 compared to 142 590 cases recorded in 2015. Cases involving domestic violence also rose by 20 percent as 9 711 were recorded in 2016 compared to 8 113 recorded in 2015.
“Similarly, the province recorded increases in armed robbery, theft from vehicles, assault and theft cases which went up by between nine percent and 18 percent,” Deputy Comm-Gen Matibiri said.
He said police in Harare managed to reduce some crimes of concern particularly, murder by four percent, plain robbery by 34 percent, unlawful entry and theft by four percent, rape (adults) by eight percent, and rape involving juveniles by five percent last year as compared to 2015.
“As a province, you need to redouble your efforts in order to reduce incidences of crime in your area of policing and to also ensure that all reported cases are expeditiously and thoroughly investigated. It is also important for you to observe that the key in this regard is greater community participation in the fight against crime,” he said.
Deputy Comm-Gen Matibiri commended the officers for managing to contain violent protests in the city last year.
“Remember, as police we are duty-bound, hence we should never shudder or tremble in discharging our constitutional obligation, by allowing misguided elements to deliberately engage in public violence or to wilfully destroy and loot property, disturb the prevailing peace and tranquillity under the façade of freedom to demonstrate,” he said.