Neighbourhood fights cable theft

Gofaone Koogotsitse
CONCERNED: A neighbourhood watch meeting

Residents of Molepolole’s Morula Neighbourhood Watch in Masugankwe ward have raised concern over rising incidents of cable theft in their area.

While issues of drug and alcohol abuse by youth, littering and child negligence were also addressed, the residents appealed to Botswana Police Service and Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation to collaborate and intensify the fight against the new crime wave of cable theft.

Morula Neighbourhood Watch Chairperson, Tumelo Thuthuka, said it was worrisome as the relevant authorities were reluctant to take action.

“It is important for us to unite in fighting crime, it was hurting that some of the cables were stolen and hidden and when we reported to the police they told us to spend the night guarding the cables as the suspects might return to collect them. How do we guard the cables when we are not equipped with any weapon to protect ourselves not even knowing what the culprits are using?” Tutuka said, raising concern about police reluctance to cooperate.

Molepolole police Station Commander, Superintendent Benedict Matlho, revealed that the other concern in the village is theft common and that they recorded 998 cases last year, 927 in 2021 and 536 this year from January to April.

Assault common was the second highest offence with 696 recorded cases for last year, 632 in 2021 and 271 from January to April this year, followed by common nuisance with 428 cases recorded in 2021, 419 last year and 178 this year January to April.

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Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited’s Physical Security Manager- Sonny Mogojwa, who was guest speaker at the event, said crime and criminality against public institutions, parastatals, corporations, private sector and the public in general have been experiencing upward trends globally, regionally as well as nationally.

“Law enforcement agencies have been overwhelmed and incapacitated from responding as well as efficiently and effectively manage the trends due to inadequate resources and focus on other societal needs and challenges,” noted Mogojwa saying government alone cannot address this scourge of crime.”
“Citizens and communities across the word, individuals and collectively must band together to form neighbourhood watch programs to help fight back and make their communities safer,” he added.

Mogojwa revealed that from April 2022 to March 31st, 2023 BTC recorded 886 critical infrastructure incidents across the country, most of them occurring in Gaborone and surrounding areas including Molepolole.

He said, of the 754 copper cable theft cases, 37 were from Molepolole.


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