In the wake of a spate of robberies and violence targeting both residential and commercial properties in recent weeks, police have arrested 16 suspects and assured Blantyre residents of safety.
Limbe Police Station spokesperson Patrick Mussa said in an interview on Wednesday that they have so far arrested 16 suspects in connection with the cases.
While not giving the exact number of reported cases, he said the arrests were made on Tuesday this week.
Said Mussa: “Most of the suspects were arrested in areas such as Kachere Township, Bangwe and Makhetha. But then, for now, we cannot say how many cases have been reported so far.”
Blantyre Police Station deputy spokesperson Dorothy Chathyoka, while confirming existence of gangs of robbers terrorising residents in the city, said no arrests have so far been made in the Blantyre policing area.
She said efforts were underway to arrest the gangs.
Said Chathyoka: “We are also asking the communities to help us by providing some crucial information because we cannot do our work without the community being involved.”
Both the officers also said police are strengthening community policing forums and increasing patrols in all affected areas and expressed optimism that they will soon get to the gangs behind such incidences.
In recent weeks, increased cases of robberies targeting residential houses, vehicles and business premises have been reported in Chapima Heights, Nyambadwe, Naperi, New Naperi, Mandala, part of Kanjedza, Nkolokosa, Limbe, Chiwembe, Chirimba, Chilobwe, Chilomoni, Nkolokoti, BCA and Maone residential and industrial areas.
In September last year, police in Blantyre also shot dead two suspected armed robbers who stormed some houses in BCA Hill.
The shooting came shortly after our sister paper Weekend Nation reported that over 40 people were shot dead in police custody.
It was reported that between May and June last year, at least 10 suspects, six in Ntcheu and four in Blantyre, died in what appeared to be a police shooting.
Meanwhile, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera on Wednesday said a statement on national level will be issued soon.