By Yusufu S. Bangura
Crime Statistician at the Sierra Leone Police, Inspector Smart Menjor, has told newsmen that in 2022 they recorded a total of 33,157 criminal and accident cases across the country.
The disclosure was made on Monday, 13th March, at the Sierra Leone Police Headquarters on George Street in Freetown, while launching the general crime statistics report.
He said in the 2022 crime year, 27,018 criminal activities were reported in all the six Police Command Regions in Sierra Leone.
He added that the Criminal Investigations Departments (CID) Headquarters in Freetown alone received and investigated 2,015 Criminal Cases, while the Traffic Department received and investigated 4,124 Road Traffic Accidents cases in 2022.
Inspector Menjor said in total, 33, 157 Criminal and Accident cases were reported by the Sierra Leone police countrywide with an overall crime rate of 0.39%.
He further said in 2021, there were 41,459 criminal cases reported with a crime rate of 0.50% and according to him, there was a tremendous decrease in the rate of crimes by 11% in 2022, for the past years.
The Crime Statistician said there had been a sharp reduction in the number of crimes in Sierra Leone which has contributed to the stable environment in the country.
He attributed decrease in crime to the following, Strong security measures taken by police and the RSLAF, check points at strategic points at night, timely response to distress calls, community sensitizations on crime prevention, continuous stakeholder’s engagement on crime prevention strategies among others.
In terms of the various regions, he disclosed that Western Area (Freetown East and West) recorded 21,222 criminal cases representing 1.18%, the Northern Region, (North West and East) received 4,795 criminal cases with a percentage of 0.20%, Eastern Region recorded 3.587 criminal cases which represent 0.18% and Southern Region recorded 3.533 criminal cases representing 0.16%.
He continued that from the Regional analysis above, there is a clear indication that Western Area is prone to more criminal activities than any other region in Sierra Leone, followed by Northern Region, Eastern Region and Southern Region, respectively.
Inspector Menjor cited late submission of monthly crime statistics to the Corporate Affairs Directorate by Commanders, lack of training for data analysts and data officers in the various regions as some of the challenges they are faced with.
He recommended that the police should intensify intelligence-gathering efforts to identify high-profile criminals and their hideouts, to deploy Community Safety Volunteer and Coordinate well with the Local Partnership Policing Board members.
He further recommends that the Family Support Unit (FSU), Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs should team up and organize sensitization meetings to educate students/ pupils on Sexual Penetration and Rape and how to deal with them.
The SLP Crime Statistician further recommended that the political will to foster the reporting of rape incidents countrywide should be enhanced and the establishment of accessible roads on the hill top and seafront areas because most of the major crimes like armed robbery are committed in places where vehicles cannot access due to the poor road network.
While launching the Crime Statistics report, Director of Corporate Affairs at SLP, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Memunatu B. Konteh Jalloh, disclosed that the annual crime statistics will help the police to predict the way crimes are being committed in different locations across the country.
She said the Corporate Affairs Directorate of the SLP is being tasked with the responsibility to analyze and produce the SLP Crime Statistics Report annually.
She added that the annual statistics will also help the force to put in place strategies that are informed by the statistics.
She furthered that the crime statistics provide information on how resource are allocated, as well as for the SLP’s strategic development plans and it provides the frequencies at which various crimes were reported in each region for the period under review.