Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South, Botsalo Ntuane, has described the crime situation in Gaborone West Phase 4 as out of hand.
He said after he received a call about the murder of a school girl, he realised it was time to call on the cavalry in the form of the Minister of Justice, Defence and Security Ramadeluka Seretse to help with solutions the calamity that has befallen the area .
For his part, the minister described the incident as unfortunate and urged the community to take responsibility and help the police to fight crime.
“Police officers are not enough and they will never be. It is your duty to take appropriate steps as the community to fight crime,” Seretse said. “A solution should come from you the community of Phase 4 as we cannot only depend on the police to defeat crime.”
Seretse said the uncontrolled movement of people, even at odd hours, makes it difficult to identify criminals.
Kaone Paya , a resident of Phase 4 , echoed the minister’s sentiment that the community has itself to blame for the high levels of crime in the area saying people lock themselves behind closed doors and high security walls at the expense of making time to get to know their neighbours . “We do not communicate with our neighbours,” she said.
Paya accused local liquor store owners of opening beyond legal trading hours, saying this encourages late night muggings and robbery.
Benjamin Keboneilwe, another resident, attributes the escalating levels of crime to lack of police patrol in the area. He said the police was not doing enough.
In response to some of the concerns, Minister Seretse acknowledged the inefficiency of the Police service, saying they often take too long to respond. He also advised the community to make contributions towards establishing a ‘control room’ to be manned by volunteers, to cut down bushes in unoccupied spaces, and to use all means of communication to their advantage.
He said people should use social networks like facebook usefully to help curb crime, and refrain from posting messages that incite violence.
He said his ministry, through the security services, would wsoon monitor Facebook pages to ensure the network is not used to encourage acts of violence.
And Commissioner of Police, Keabetswe Makgophe, said his department would consider some of the suggestions and called on the community to inform the police of any suspicious incidents so they can be attended to quickly.
The alert on Phase 4 comes in the wake of two incidents of murder involving two women victims, a nurse stabbed to death by thugs on her way home from work, and a form five student raped and murdered at her parents’ house in broad day light. The suspects in both cases have been arrested and are still awaiting trial.