Community policing stakeholders in Neno District have called on government to provide resources for construction of a district police station.
Currently, all police officers at the boma operate from rented houses and their offices are in a small building previously owned by the District Health Office.
The law enforcers also operate without a vehicle in serving a population of over 130,000 and rely on borrowing from other departments and organisations.
Making the call during a meeting held at Neno Community Hall on Friday, the district’s community policing forum chairperson, Kanengo Banda, said the policemen are finding it difficult to provide security to residents of the district in the absence of offices, houses and vehicles.
“We work hand-in-hand with the police in ensuring that people all over the district are safe and secure. For this reason, we understand better how their challenges are affecting their work. It is only through the grace of God that they are delivering, otherwise the challenges are enormous,” Banda said.
District Education Manager, Reuben Menyere, concurred with Banda and said the law enforcers need to be rewarded for securing the lives and property of residents of the district.
Menyere said it is sad that the district continues to be without a purpose-built police station and officers’ houses since it was separated from Mwanza during former president Bakili Muluzi’s regime.
“This matter should also be prioritised at our next full council meeting. Our policemen deserve better. They need to work in a conducive environment,” he said.
Neno Police Officer-in- Charge, Maxton Kalimanjira, said the station has managed to deliver despite lacking the required resources.
“We are the current holders of the Southern Region Commissioner’s Policing Trophy after reducing crime in the first quarter of the year by 49 per cent. We expect even better results once our challenges are addressed,” Kalimanjira said.
He said in addition to the highlighted challenges, the station does not have special cells for female suspects and children in conflict with the law.
Southern Region Community Policing Coordinator, Alex Simenti, encouraged stakeholders in the district to continue pushing the matter through their district council as the responsibility of building police stations and officers’ houses does not fall on the Malawi Police Service.
On the need for a vehicle at the station, Simenti said Neno was a priority station in the region and will be considered once government delivers a new consignment.
Neno Police Station has 84 officers, each of them serving 1,548 residents of the district.
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