Officer-In-Charge for Mulanje Police Station, Phillip Dinala says the district has registered a 30 per cent increase in crime during the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year.
This is due to unemployment among the youth, socio-cultural practices and poverty.
Speaking recently in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on the sidelines of a Station Executive Committee (SEC) meeting, Dinala said between January and March this year, Mulanje registered 529 crimes as opposed to last year during the same period when the district only registered 406 crimes.
Dinala said this has come about because, during the said period, many households did not have enough food in their homes, as such, they resorted to theft and other illegal activities.
He said murder and deaths increased from one case last year to 10 this year because of drug and alcohol abuse as many of the cases recorded were of people drinking on an empty stomach.
“We also had one mob justice case which means communities are no longer respecting the law,” Dinala said.
He said theft and burglary have also increased from 43 to 78 cases, this is an increase of 81 per cent.
“People do not fear the law because of poverty and lack of employment. Many of the youth are forced to engage in illegal activities to meet daily needs,” he added.
On defilement, Dinala said despite the district registering a nine per cent decline in cases from 34 to 31, there was still need to continue engaging communities on the dangers of harmful cultural practices, saying the figure remains high.
Dinala, therefore, said the police remain committed to combat crime in the district, stressing that peace and security are a prerequisite for socio-economic development.
“We have embarked on patrols to enhance police visibility to prevent criminals from committing offences.
“We have also intensified sensitisation campaigns with support from community policing structures in villages so that people are aware of how to conduct themselves in accordance with the law,” he said.
Mulanje District Community Policing Chairperson, Bayles Mkandawire appealed to business proprietors to consider employing the youth when filling security positions.
Mkandawire said a lot of business owners are exploiting the elderly by giving them jobs as security guards in return for low wages.
“This has resulted in an increase in crime as the elderly are not physically fit to fight crime. Again, the youth are left with nothing to do, as a result, they become thieves,” he said.