Police takes anti-cybercrime messages to the masses

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Balaka police station on Tuesday launched a campaign against technology-related offenses at Mululu trading centre within the area of Traditional Authority Nkaya in the district.

This comes at a time when many people in the country have fallen victims of cases of theft by false pretence mostly committed through the internet and mobile networks either by phone calls and short messages system or social media.

According to a press statement released earlier this year by the National Police press and public relations office dated 17 March 2017, cases of theft by false pretence appear to reign high on the graph; as a result, Balaka police station decided to roll out the awareness meetings as a preventive measure to suppress the emergence of such cases in the district.

Cyber crimeIn an interview with Malawi24, Balaka Deputy Public Relations Officer Gerald Sumaili said the campaign is vital since it was aimed at warning people about such crimes.

Sumaili told Malawi24 that communities that gathered at the trading centre were alerted on how the cases in question are being committed by tricksters.

“For example in form of false Job vacancies, courier services, university sponsorships and scholarships whereby vacancies and adverts – containing a condition demanding the applicants or clients for the service to pay a certain amount of money – are made available by the criminals through one of the followings ways; phone calls, placed on websites or circulated in social media platforms particularly Facebook and WhatsApp,” said Sumaili.

Representative of the officer in charge for Balaka police at the function Inspector Frazer Banda cautioned the attendees and emphasised much on the need for people to stay conscious of such ill acts and report the same to police.

Among other key issues were violence against children, gender based violence, crime prevention and the infamous abductions, killing and exhumation of remains of people with albinism.

Also in attendance were group village headwomen Maduwani and Mtandiwa accompanied by their surbodinate village headmen along with chairpersons and members of community policing forums from respective villages.

The chiefs hailed the station for such an early warning that will strengthen their communities and put them on guard against the trending vices of technology’s developments that will in turn enable them enjoy its befitting benefits.

During the function Mululu community Policing Forum was given reflector jackets, whistles and a flash torch to boost vigilance.

So far this year, Balaka police station has not registered any case of this nature.

The initiative which is being carried out in conjunction with community policing branch will be conducted till the fall of the month of April 2017 in the rest of the nine Traditional Authorities of the district.

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