On Tuesday February 26, the Harare police, along with other stakeholders, reached out to people in SST, Town Two and Nkanini informal settlements.
Concerned about escalating crimes in the informal settlements, police handed out pamphlets to educate the public on various social ills and crimes, such as human trafficking, rapes, burglaries, hijackings, gender-based violence, domestic violence, house-breaking, vandalism, and abuse of alcohol and other substances.
Harare police spokesperson, Captain Siyabulela Vukubi, said while police had been receiving a lot of reports about crimes in the informal settlements, many people were not coming forward with information about the crimes.
“We are here to encourage them to speak more. We know without them giving us information, there is nothing we can do. These areas are the most dangerous. There are hijackings, domestic violence, rapes and many others. We also want to urge them not to abuse substances and drugs,” he said.
Captain Vukubi said he was happy to see other stakeholders coming on board in the fight against crime and commended the local community policing forum for their contribution.
“With the assistance of residents, police distributed more than 600 pamphlets with safety tips to prevent all sorts of crimes in these areas. The encouraging thing was that people were willing to interact with us. Some were happy see police during this awareness campaign,” he told Vukani.
Joining hands with the police was the local ward councillor Thando Phimpi who expressed excitement to see police going around the areas handing out the pamphlets.
Mr Phimpi said his main worry was that informal settlements had become the hub for hijackers and robbers.
He said a new area, called Qanduqandu, was becoming the most dangerous area.
“I am happy to see police here. But the focus should be more on Qanduqandu. (There are) unconfirmed reports that arms are kept in that area. That is the area that need the National Police Minister to visit. Crime is high in Qanduqandu,” said Mr Phimpi.
He also called on residents to report more crimes to the police and to work with them. “If we all report these crimes, we will all be free from crime. Crime affects us all. It should be something that we deal with together,” he concluded.
Residents who spoke to Vukani said they were happy to see police in the area, but some said they felt police were not protecting them even though they report crimes.