Bulawayo Takes Unwanted Lead in Crime Statistics, Surpassing National Averages
Bulawayo has emerged as the province with the highest crime rate among Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat).
The alarming figure, standing at 2,751.25 crimes per 100,000 people, is more than double the national average of 1,201, shedding light on the pressing issue of criminal activities in the region.
Harare and Midlands provinces join Bulawayo as hotspots for criminal activity, with their vulnerability to crime surpassing the national average. This revelation has sparked calls for immediate intervention from the government and law enforcement agencies to address the rising tide of criminal incidents.
During the third quarter of 2023, crimes against public safety and state security took the lead, accounting for 65,173 cases. Burglary and theft closely followed, with 49,539 reported cases. Acts categorized as “leading to harm or intending to cause harm to the person,” including assault, robbery, and other violent crimes, totaled 36,863.
The report also highlighted that 125,433 individuals were arrested by the police for various offenses, with 88% of them being male.
Mationesa Phiri, the acting director-general of ZimStat, expressed deep concern over the increasing incidences of theft, robbery, sexual crimes, drug-related offenses, and murder. Phiri emphasized the far-reaching consequences of these crimes, stating, “These vices leave society entangled with emotional, psychological, and physical damage. They disrupt families, cause financial losses, and necessitate increased spending on private security measures, mental health services, and law enforcement. Expenditures associated with law enforcement and the criminal justice system come at the expense of social service delivery.”
Phiri acknowledged the limitations of the data, noting that it was not exhaustive. He stressed the importance of crime statistics in informing policy development and planning within the criminal justice system. By exposing crime trends in communities, law enforcement can develop strategic interventions to curtail the growth in crime rates.
The report, based on data collected from the Zimbabwe Republic Police Crime Report and Disposal System, follows the United Nations International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes for data aggregation guidelines.