The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has said security and policing remain a challenge in Lilongwe due to high urbanisation which has seen an increase in people coming to settle in the capital city.
Central Region Police Commissioner John Nyondo observed Wednesday that among the groups of people that settle in the city are criminals who end up terrorising the residents.
Nyondo made the remarks during a community policing meeting that was held at the Central Region Police headquarters.
Between January and March, the Central Region Police registered 1,922 criminal cases compared to 2,096 cases during the same period last year, translating to a 8.3 percent reduction in crime.
But Nyondo said urbanisation has affected MPS so much so that they decided to introduce community policing to deal with the situation.
“We have seen more people coming to settle here in Lilongwe for either employment, business and other activities. These factors have put Lilongwe at high risk of being hit by various types of crimes because among the groups of people coming to settle here are criminals,” he said.
“This has affected the entire Police Service, hence we thought of introducing a community-based approach to various problems affecting the society at large,” he said.
Chairperson of the station executive committee, Alfred Munika, said community policing is ideal, but disagreements between the police and the public sometimes arise due to delays that occur in handling cases.
“We are working with the police in order to fight crime. The police are working hard. I know there are some police who connive with criminals, but largely most of the officers do a fair job,” he said.
In agreement with Munika, Councillor Christopher Namakhwa of Chinsapo Ward said the police sometimes fail to perform their duties due to limited resources.
“Most of the time, when the police are called to communities they fail to respond in time because of mobility challenges. There is need to help them with mobility. They need a lot of vehicles,” he said.
Of late, the police have been engaging in running battles with the public on issues of security.
Recently, people torched a police vehicle at Kaphiri in Lilongwe after accusing the law enforcers of failing to discharge their duties.
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