Malawi Police claim 18% decrease in crime rate, upsurge in robbery and murder

Malawi Police Service (MPS) spokesperson Davie Chingwalu has  claimed that crime rate had decreased significantly but conceded that they  an upward trend was observed in cases  of murder and robberies after the shoot-to-kill police has been dropped.

A comparison of data of crime rate in the months from January to June this year revealed that crime rate  declined during these months, as compared to the corresponding period of the last year, according to the police spokesman.

“ Statistical analysis of the period from January to June 2012 shows that we have registered 32 883 cases  throughout the country. When compared to the same period in 2011, we have an 18 percent decrease because in 2011 we registered 40 202 cases,” Chingwalu is quoted saying in  an exclusive interview published in Weekend Nationon Saturday.

Chingwalu: We will make every effort to intensify security

However, he said the country has  experienced “an increase in some high-impact crimes like murder, robberies and housebreaking offences, especially in cities.”

He  said the Police has intensified security especially in those parts that were hit by robberies.

Chingwalu said “with the media [highlighting the incidents], the fear of crime has risen tremendously. Our efforts are now targeting at addressing this trend.”

He expressed gratitude  to members of the public  “who are giving us information that has led to some major arrests and recoveries, for example, the arrests of five suspects who were involved in the K27 million robbery at Crossroads in Lilongwe.”

‘Shoot  but don’t kill’

On the shoot-to-kill policy which has been dumped by the Police, Chingwalu said officers are allowed to use guns but would have to act strictly within the laws of the country.

“Policing in the country has to take place in consistent with constitutional and legal provisions of the land. The behaviour of police officers has to be professional, courteous and in full recognition of human dignity,” he told the paper.

Chingwalu said  Malawian Cops  are “empowered by the law to carry firearms and use them as stipulated in Section 44 of the Police Act. “

He said the guidelines of their use are “very clear”, pointing  out that “Police officers are also trained on the use of such firearms.”

Chingwalu called on police officer to “use their full sense of judgement, knowledge, skills and competence” when bursting criminals.

He assured that Malawi Police “will make every effort to intensify security to ensure that people are living in peace.”

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