BULAWAYO has the highest crime rate among the country’s 10 provinces, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has said.
According to ZimStat, Bulawayo’s crime rate stood at a staggering 2 7512,5 per 100 000 people, a figure which is more than double the national average of 1 201.
Bulawayo, Harare and Midlands provinces are cited as the country’s hotspots of criminal activity, with vulnerability to crime exceeding the national average amid calls for the government and law enforcement agencies to tackle criminal activities.
Crimes against public safety and State security were the most prevalent, accounting for 65 173 cases during the third quarter of 2023. Burglary and theft followed closely with 49 539 cases.
Cases classified as “Acts leading to harm or intending to cause harm to the person”, totalled 36 863 and the category includes assault, robbery and other violent crimes.
The report further revealed that 125 433 individuals were arrested by the police for various offences, 88% being male.
ZimStat acting director-general, Mationesa Phiri expressed alarm at the increasing incidences of theft, robbery, sexual crimes, drug-related offences and murder.
“These vices leave society entangled with emotional, psychological and physical damage,” Phiri said.
“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 saying it was not exhaustive.
“The information on crime presented in this publication is not exhaustive due to limitations on recorded data.”
Calling on government and law enforcement agencies to take decisive action against criminal activities, Phiri added: “The production of crime statistics informs policy development and planning in the criminal justice system. By exposing crime trends in communities, we enable law enforcement to develop strategic interventions to curtail growth in crime rates.”
The report, based on data collected from the Zimbabwe Republic Police Crime Report and Disposal System, employs the United Nations International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes for data aggregation guidelines.