The Mhlabuyalingana Community Policing Forum (CPF) has expressed concern over the increase in armed robberies at a time when people are being encouraged to stay home because of COVID-19.
Deputy chairperson, Professor Xolani Zikhali, says in Mkhanyakude armed criminals sometimes pounce on people while at home and take whatever possessions they want.
“On the surface it seems like the crime rate is currently down. However, when you look at issues on the ground – people are bearing the brunt of criminal activities in communities,” he says.
Prof Zikhali says drug abuse is sometimes behind the crimes.
While acknowledging a decrease in car hijackings due to increased police visibility and the current curfew aimed at limiting movement as the country continues to battle COVID-19, Zikhali is worried about people who continue selling alcohol despite the current ban on sales.
“This leads to people breaking the curfew as they congregate at those places to drink.”
Zikhali is urging community members to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and stop breaking the law.