THYOLO: Intensified community policing initiatives in Thyolo are said to have contributed to the reduction of crime especially defilement cases since people in the district have trust in the police, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has learnt.
Thyolo Police Station Officer In charge, Teresa Nankhuni told Mana on Thursday that people were now reporting different sexual abuses including defilement because the police had intensified community awareness meetings hence they have a better understanding of such violations.
We have reached communities across the district with messages on gender based violence such as defilement – people now know the evils of defilement and where to report if they feel violated or know any perpetrator of the crime, Nankhuni said.
Nankhuni added that the sensitisation meetings have increased relationship and trust between police and the general public, noting that to maintain the trust and rapport with the community, all defilement cases were referred to the magistrate’s court so that offenders could face the law.
Thyolo First Grade Magistrate, Roy Kakutu confirmed the development in a separate interview with Mana, saying the court was registering an increase of defilement cases, an indication that communities understand the importance of taking such cases to police for redress.
As I am speaking now, I have over 10 defilement cases on my table since January, said Kakutu.
He said awareness campaigns on defilement cases require a combination of messages from police, court and social welfare, saying: On our part as the court, we also have messages to do with court proceedings in such cases.
He also emphasized on the need for proper investigations by the police which may lead to successful conviction of offenders for an imprisonment that would give lesson to other would be offenders.
In 2017, Thyolo Police Station scooped position one in the Southern Region Commissioners Trophy for reducing crime rate by 49 percent.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA