Juvenile rape up in Masvingo

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Masvingo Province has recorded a 7% increase in crime, chief being an upward trend in juvenile rape cases.

Speaking at a belated end-of-year party for senior officers at the Masvingo Polytechnic over the weekend, Police Assistant Commissioner Charles Mfandaidza described the increase as “unhealthy”.

“The province’s 2011 policing trajectory was strewn with a host of challenges, which prompted an upsurge of general crime from 19 033 cases reported in 2010, to 20 387 in 2011. There was a 14% increase in juvenile rape cases and these statistics portray an unhealthy situation, considering that the crime will be perpetrated against innocent and defenceless children,” he said.

While blaming “illegal and unjust” sanctions for the lack of resources, Mfandaidza accused government of underfunding the force.

“Notwithstanding the meagre fiscal support received from government, through its ingenuity, the ZRP is doing its best to replenish the organisation’s depleted resource base.”

Mfandaidza said: “The provincial command should come up with robust and effective strategies that are dovetailed to contain criminality in the province.”

He urged the police to be professional and accountable to the public. “There is need for police officers to act professionally and ethically, going beyond the call of duty whilst remaining accountable to the public for their actions,” Mfandaidza said. He vowed to descend heavily on corrupt police officers.