Police in Dowa says crime has increased this year at Dzaleka Refugee Camp following food ration cuts at the camp .
Speaking during a Station Executive Committee (SEC) meeting held at the boma on Wednesday, Dowa Police Station Officer- In- Charge (O/C), Charles Frazer Msitu lamented that Dzaleka camp has seen growing cases of theft and sexual assaults, a development which is worrisome.
The law enforcers linked the high crime rate at the camp and surrounding villages to a cut in food rations by half which has brought in more misery to families at the camp.
Msitu who is Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) said refugees broke into other people’s houses in the camp and surrounding villages including Dowa boma to steal various goods in order to survive.
The O/C said Dowa Police have registered an increase in crime rate from January to June this year as compared to last year during the same period citing 167 criminal cases representing an increase of 48.9%.
In Dzaleka camp alone, 23 criminal cases have been registered of which 8 are for breaking into houses and 6 are reported for sexual assaults.
Msitu said the police are working hand in hand with the community in the camp and surrounding villages to ensure that security is at its best in the district.
He added that Dowa police through its community policing department, formed a group called “Asungusungu” where they work together in providing security in the camp.
According to Msitu, Police are also conducting crime prevention sensitization meetings both in the camp and surrounding villages as well as conducting patrols during market days.
National Statistical Office (NSO) 2018 Population and Housing Census report revealed that Dzaleka Refugee Camp has over 40,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
Story By: Vincent Gunde