THE temporal closure of Mtendere police post to facilitate its rehabilitation has contributed to the increase in crime and illicit activities in the area. In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Sam Phiri, a taxi operator at Mtendere market, said from the time the police post was closed crime had increased especially in the night and was not being reported because the police post only had an inquiry office and no holding cells. “People are not reporting cases in Mtendere compound because the holding cells are closed due to the rehabilitation works, and Kalikiliki and Ben Mwiinga police posts are too small and congested to hold large number of offenders,” he said. Mr Phiri said police should intensify night patrols especially in Mtendere “D” section and surrounding areas if crime levels were to reduce. He suggested that both the community, civic leaders and law enforcers should work together if the issue was to be addressed. He said people were living in fear and their movements restricted because of insecurity following continuous cases of robbery and attacks. Another resident Chabala Songwe said a group of 14 youngsters called “Fluffies” were attacking residents and terrorizing people’s homes by asking them to surrender their belongings or they would be stripped naked. “My brother was attacked last week somewhere at Sochabe area when he met a group of youngsters called Fluffies standing along the road opposite Zulu grocery around 22 hours. They asked for money from him which he did not have; they then ended up stripping him naked, “ she said. Ms Songwe said some women had been sexually abused by the same gang but nothing had been done because the police post was closed and the community was living in terror. The residents have called on the Zambia Police Service to step up security patrols in the area and to speed up the works on the Mtendere police post because people were failing to report the cases to Ben Mwiinga, Kalingalinga and Kalikiliki because they were too far. “Our compound has been infested with criminals who are robbing and killing people. The community, civic leaders together with law enforcers we need to find ways on how we can deal with the situation. ‘‘At the moment President Edgar Lungu and Government are working hard to attract foreign investment into the country, therefore it is our duty as citizens to stop crime,” she said And police spokesperson Esther Katongo appealed to residents to report crime to the police so that the culprits could be brought to book and make the area crime-free. She said it was difficult for the police to operate if such serious crime incidents remained unreported. She warned perpetrators that the law will soon visit them. Ms Katongo said the police had continued with night patrols to ensure that crime was curbed in Mtendere and the surrounding areas.