I wish to once again remind members of the public on safety measures during this year’s festive period. More often than not, festivities come with a lot of excitement as people are in a celebratory mood. Our call as Zambia Police is that as people celebrate; they should do so responsibly, paying particular attention to their personal security and safety.

Our mandate as an institution is to ensure that everyone celebrates in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of criminal threats. Zambia Police working with other security agencies have already put in place security measures in a bid to police highways and communities and these measures include foot and motorised patrols. Our officers have already been deployed and will be watchful for any criminal activities in communities throughout the country to prevent crime.

To ensure effective operations, I have called back all officers who proceeded on leave and they will go back on leave after festivities. This decision is to enable us maximise on the number officers policing communities.

Those making cash transactions are advised to avoid exposing security information and should also avoid making transactions involving huge sums of money without security escort. Withdraw of huge sums of monies usually attracts the attention of criminals.

Some criminals may also take advantage of lapses in security at Banks hence I implore management at Banks and shopping premises to put in place maximum security measures both inside and outside to protect their clients. Further, security personnel at banks are also advised to be vigilant and should query anyone spotted loitering within the premises of the banks without any justifiable reason.

From previous experiences, it has been evident that during such periods, Zambia Police record an increase in cases of thefts from motor vehicles at shopping centers, traffic lights and crowded places as criminals tend to take advantage of traffic congestion, hence the need for everyone to be security alert.

A lot of counsel has already been given by various stakeholders on the need for parents and guardians to guide their children because it is during such periods that we record a lot cases of juvenile delinquency. Statistically, in 2017 a total of 1,761 juvenile offenders were convicted for various offences compared to 1,193 convicted in 2016 showing an increase of 569 juvenile offenders. The most prevalent offences committed by juveniles include affray, assault, burglary, theft, drunk and incapable or disorderly and house breaking. Such statistics are extremely worrying and we hope to record a reduction going forward. The reduction in such cases will only be attained when every member of society plays a role of guiding the young ones.

Lastly, I would like to thank members of the public for their continued support during this year. We look forward to continued collaboration through cultivation of positive interaction, an attribute which we believe is essential in effective policing.

On behalf of the Zambia Police Service, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyful 2019, free of Crime.