LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Inspector General (IG) of Police, Lexten Kachama, on Sunday said 2, 459 people died in road accidents in 2017, which is an increase from the previous year’s 2, 343 fatalities.

Kachama disclosed this during an end of year Malawi Police party held at police headquarters in Lilongwe.

Despite losing 2, 459 lives, Kachama said there was a 37 percent reduction of road accidents in general.

“The main cause of the road accidents were due to over speeding, reckless or inconsiderate driving. I appeal to all traffic officers to give proper and adequate civic education to all road users in 2018. We all need to be extra careful on our roads,” Kachama said.

The police chief further bemoaned the increase in the number of police mobile vehicles involved in road accidents, saying it puts more strain on inadequate vehicles.

“The year was also difficult in terms of public order management. There were violent and unfortunate incidences like mob justice where, for instance, police stations and vehicles were targeted. We lost Chirimba Police Unit and an armoured personnel vehicle at Area 36 in Lilongwe,” he said.

On the other hand, Kachama said he was proud that police managed to reduce the rate of violent crimes by 16 percent, a development which, he said, was possible due to coordination between the law enforcers and the general public.

The IG further said, there was a decrease in murder, robberies and theft of motor vehicle cases because the police had put in place several measures including frequent patrols of different areas and foiling robberies.

“I wish to caution [police officers] that there is no need to relax in 2018. We have to double our efforts so that we continue fulfilling our obligation of protecting lives and property,” Kachama said.

He also took some time to caution his officers against engaging in corrupt practices which, he said, taint the image of the establishment.

Within the year, cases of defilement of girls also increased by five percent while eight people, who included children, died in a stampede at Bingu National Stadium during the 53rd Independent Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, Kachama has also warned police officers against photographing and recording what he calls shameful acts which eventually find themselves on the internet. According to the police chief, this puts the security agency in a tight spot.

Last year, videos and pictures of some officers engaged in sexual acts went viral on the internet after apparently being leaked by their lovers.

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