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Sexual offences rose during lockdown

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Botswana Police have recorded high numbers of defilement and other sexual assault offences during lockdown.

Crime statistics indicate that between January and May, there has been an increase of 20% in defilement cases and 6% for rape.

Another offence that has shown an increase is stock theft.

In April, only 141 cases of stock theft were recorded. Murder cases also went down, April registering 12 and May 7.

Assistant Police Commissioner Dipheko Motube told The Voice Online that crime statistics have generally gone down during lockdown except for stock theft and sexual assault and burglary and theft.

He said since there was restriction of movement, most offenders did not have access to their partners and ended up sexually assaulting minors in their care.

“Farmers were also not able to go to cattleposts, so thieves took advantage and stole their livestock hence the increase in our statistics. There has been a reduction in robberies and that would probably because would be offenders were indoors. The enhanced presence of law enforcement teams also acted as a deterrent. There are three elements for a crime to occur; there has to be an offender, a target and opportunity. So since people were under lockdown there was no opportunity and offenders movements were restricted. The environment was very hostile for crimes to occur,” said Motube.

He said assault cases also went down because mostly they are alcohol related and they occur at bars, so since people are not allowed to buy and sit there are no such offences.

The police spokesperson said they have learnt that more effort is needed to enforce the restriction of movements to maintain the low incidents of robberies.

He said patrols should also continue to ensure that cases of break-ins are kept minimal.

Motube encouraged business owners to enhance security of their premises and have them checked on regular basis.

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