As the police are conducting a sweeping exercise in order to intensify security during the festive season, Limbe Police say the exercise is going on well as they have been able to arrest some wanted suspects.
Police say they will continue with the arrests of that sort this festive season in a bid to have a peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Speaking to Malawi24, assistant public relations officer for Limbe Police station, Widson Nhlane, said the exercise has come to their advantage as they have arrested people who were on their wanted list.
“The sweeping exercise is an on going exercise and it is taking place in our Limbe policing areas like Makhetha, Namiyango, Chingumula, Limbe market, Maselema, Bvumbwe just to mention a few,” said Nhlane.
There are concerns that police use sweepings exercise to raid drinking joints at night where they arrest revellers and commercial sex workers who are in turn abused in cells by cops, Nhlane said bars have licences which guides them.
“Bars have their time limits, the time they are supposed to close business at night, when they go beyond that time they commit an offence as thieves do hide in such places that is why we arrest people who do not have identity cards as we suspect them as criminals,” he said.
He added that if anyone has been arrested for an offence they did not commit they should always go to their offices and issue a complaint and he said they do not abuse them.
However, some quarters have argued that the Vagrancy law – locally known as ‘Vakabu’ – should be reviewed as it is taken as a law targeting the poor and during sweeping exercises they are at a disadvantage as they are apprehended.
Section 180 to 184 of the penal code give police powers to arrest anyone deemed to be idle and disorderly in a public place.