Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo says government is extremely concerned with the rising number of criminal gangs and crime in some parts of the country.
Mr. Kampyongo explained that in the last few months, criminal gangs in some parts on the country have attacked innocent citizens injuring them and stealing their personal properties such as hand bags, money and cell phones.
The minister said this during a ministerial statement delivered in Parliament today.
He explained that in order to contain the vice, the Zambia Police Service has put in a number of measures which include establishing a task force to deal with the rising number of gangs and criminal activities in Kitwe district on the Copperbelt Province.
Mr. Kampyongo stated that motorised and foot patrols have also been intensified .
He added that the Zambia Police has also introduced public sensitization programmes especially through radio Icengelo in Kitwe, on the dangers of criminal gangs, the importance of reporting crime to the police and encouraging members of the public to identify and report youths involved in criminal activities.
The Minister explained that members of the public have also been encouraged to form and participate in crime prevention committees and associations within their communities.
He disclosed that measures by the Police to arrest the crime wave in Kitwe have so far resulted in the apprehension of 66 people for various gang related offences.
Mr. Kampyongo noted that the offences range from aggravated robberies to abductions, unlawful wounding, causing grievous bodily harm and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
He added that there are also 16 gang related cases before the courts of Law in Kitwe of which 12 cases are in the subordinate courts while 4 cases are in the High Court.
Mr. Kampyongo stated that the robust response to gang crimes by the Police has resulted in a drastic reduction in gang related crimes in Kitwe.
He further added that community sensitization coupled with vigorous Police patrols have therefore helped reduce drastically the gang related crimes.