Marondera (New Ziana) – There was a marked decline in crimes recorded in Mashonaland East Province last year compared to the previous year, a development police have attributed to the heavy presence of security details enforcing Covid-19 regulations.
The country has been under various levels of Covid-19 lockdown, meant to curb the spread of the pandemic, since March last year.
Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tendai Mwanza said criminals may have been thwarted by the heavy presence of security enforcing the lockdowns, hence the drop in crime figures.
Figures show that last year, police recorded 24 268 criminal cases in the province, compared to 29 241 cases recorded in 2019.
However, there was an increase in stock theft and murder cases, most of which were domestic violence related.
“We recorded an increase in murder cases and in most of such cases, there were domestic issues and couples could not resolve their issues amicably. This led to unnecessary fights and eventual loss of lives. We always urge people facing domestic challenges to seek counselling,” Inspector Mwanza said.
He said the heavy police patrols had played a huge role in cutting the crime rate in the province.
“People have been confined to their homes and as police, we have been making a heavy presence in all areas. This has played a huge part towards the decrease of criminal cases that we recorded last year as compared to 2019.
“You find out that when people stay at home as has been the case for the past nine months, their property is well secured. Potential criminals will not have a chance to access the properties. In cases where those daring burglars get their way into people’s homes and steal, they do not easily pass through the numerous roadblocks undetected,” Inspector Mwanza said.
The provincial police spokesperson also urged members of the public to cooperate with police in combating crime.
He said: “Members of the public always play a significant role in the fight against crime and we urge them to cooperate with the police in the province. That goes a long way in ensuring that they live in a crime-free environment.”
The police, at times jointly with the military, are enforcing the national lockdown.
Regular police patrols are being made and roadblocks mounted to ensure that communities in the country adhere to the lockdown restrictions.