THERE has been a reported increase of criminal activities in Bulawayo’s Northend suburb and residents in the low-density area are attributing the spate of housebreaking incidents to an influx of “lodgers” in the neighbourhood.
The residents have since expressed concern over the development in the suburb, calling for the setting up of Neighbourhood Watch Committees as well as increased patrols by the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“We are now living in fear of losing our property to thieves who are living among us,” said a resident, Lucky Moyo.
He said the spate of housebreaking incidents should be curbed as soon as possible.
“Landlords are after money and so they let in tenants whose backgrounds are unknown.
“They don’t really take their time to do background checks of the people they let in their houses and at the end of the day they rent their houses to thieves,” said Moyo.
Another resident, Thobekile Mpala said some residents allege they were aware of a gang of thieves that have been terrorising them.
“These thieves are all over the place, now we are living in fear of losing all our property to them because they live among us,” a Northend resident Lawrence Dube.
The residents said the thieves have been prominent lately and they steal goods such as phones, TV sets and other valuables.
They said apart from housebreaking incidents, the alleged criminals commit common robberies in the suburb.
The police could not be readily reached for comment but have often encouraged members of the public to set up Neighbourhood Watch Committees as part of efforts to combat criminal elements.