MAFETENG Police recently engaged the community to implement innovative crime prevention strategies in crime hotspots following high criminal activities that have been recorded in the district.
The strategies include among others, using mobile technology, engaging community policing and a 24-hour police patrol in the crime hotspots of the district. The mechanisms are meant to assist the police to curb the rampant crime the district has recorded lately.
Mafeteng has been dogged by high criminal activities, especially robbery and murder, targeting prominent individuals and business owners. Among the victims is medical doctor Ntšinyi Makoa who is still battling for his life in hospital after armed robbers poured onto him with an unidentified liquid that burnt him in July.
Dr Makoa’s son was killed in the robbery.
In the same month, Chinese national, Cho Yang Lin, was robbed in his rented home, murdered and his body buried in the Ha Ramokoatsi dongas by his alleged killers. One of the suspected killers was Mr Lin’s driver.
Indian businessman Ahmed Modan was earlier this year gunned down at his Mafeteng business, with his allegedly killers fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money. Another Indian Siddique Randelia was also robbed of over M50 000 at his furniture shop in June this year.
In the latest incident, businessman and Bantu President John Leuta was saved by modern security measures put as his home after armed robbers disguising themselves as his “friends” were denied an entry into his home.
Police in the district have identified the Hospital Area, Thabaneng, Motse-Mocha Paballong, Ha-Motlere and others as crime hotspots and on last Sunday called for a public gathering to discuss measure to curb crime.
Newly appointed Mafeteng Police Station District Commander (DISPOL), Senior Superintendent Moqhebi Likhama, told the Sunday Express that they are working tirelessly to address the challenge.
He said they have taken offenders involved in 70 percent of the crimes to court.
Snr Supt Likhama said police investigations have established that the criminals were using abandoned, dilapidated hotels in the areas as hideouts. He however, said they have engaged the residents to come up with innovative crime prevention strategies.
He said among others, they have embarked onto a ‘Know your neighbor campaign’ which would be vital for residents in times of danger.
“Criminals take chances and they target people and places that they think they can easily get away with their bad deeds so, residents must know one another,” Snr Supt Likhama said.
“We advised the residents to use their mobile technology to their advantage. They can form WhatsApp groups as residents here which they can use to alert one another if there is something unusual taking place.
“We can then be easily informed about such things and the office can rush to the area to stop the crime in time. Technology is very helpful if used appropriately hence it is our belief that it will be used well since we are dealing with adults here.”
Snr Supt Likhama said the community can also easily access the police by adding them onto the platform.
He said they also emphasised the importance of community policing and said that despite their busy schedules, the communities must use the mechanism for their own protection.
“When such mechanisms are in place it does not mean that the police will be relaxed but they will also patrol the areas and the collaboration will win the war against crime,” he said.
Snr Supt Likhama said the police are also aware that there are some unidentified individuals who have rented line hostels in the area without the knowledge of the area chief and are suspected to be connected to the crimes.
“The same people are anonymous even to their neighbors as they are only being heard from their rooms during the day.
“The suspicion is that such people are behind many criminal activities happening in the district. Some even hide in the abandoned dilapidated hostels and they are also heard there during the day and leave to perform their criminal activities in the night. We have already identified such hostels and we are going to act accordingly,” Snr Supt Likhama said.