Police urge home owners, businesses to beef up own security during festive period

HARARE – Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga has urged home owners and business operators to beef up security at their premises to try and reduce the incidence of theft and robberies during the current festive period.

This follows a rise in armed robberies this year with huge sums of cash seized from cash-in-transit vehicles, banking halls, service stations as well as homes keeping large sums of cash.

Just recently, armed robbers snatched US$600 000 and R63,400 cash from a Kwekwe fuel station. Only one out of the 12 suspected robbers has been arrested.

In a 2022 festive season statement, Matanga discouraged the public from keeping large sums of money saying this made them targets for robberies.

“May I implore the public not to keep large sums of money at home or business premises as this attracts criminals,” said the police chief.

“Suspicious criminal movements should be quickly reported to the police for swift action to be taken.

“Companies should ensure that their security is beefed up with those entities conducting cash-in-transit activities urged to work closely with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to curb armed robbery cases.”

Matanga said the festive period often comes with an increase in crime but quickly assured his officers would be in full force to curb criminality.

“My office has observed that this period attracts a lot of attention as fatal and serious road traffic accidents are recorded on the country’s roads.

“Criminal acts are likely to increase as evidenced by recorded cases of armed robbery, murder, rape, drug abuse, stock theft and unlawful entry and theft.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will therefore deploy adequately to ensure police officers are visible so that peace prevails in communities, on the roads, public gatherings and any other place where the public has access.

“Stern action will be taken against pirate taxis (mushikashika operators) and motorists who drive recklessly with no regard for the rights of other road users,” he said.

Matanga said Officers Commanding Police Provinces have been directed to ensure that sufficient visibility is maintained in communities and on the country’s major roads.

“Police officers will also account for criminal elements who commit armed robberies, murder, rape, stock theft and those who engage in illicit drug activities which are affecting the youths and elderly.”

The festive holidays are characterised by an increase in human and vehicular traffic as the holiday mood takes control of the situation.

Zimbabwe has also witnessed a rise in illegal drug use especially by youths.

Matanga said parents and guardians should monitor their children’s activities to reduce cases of child sexual abuse, drowning and drug abuse.

“The public is also urged to shun and report corrupt activities to any nearest police station.

“Above all, they should cooperate with police officers deployed on patrols, roadblocks and other duties to ensure that law and order is maintained during the holidays.

“May I urge all drivers to be exemplary on the roads and promote road safety at all times. All unroadworthy and plate-less vehicles will be impounded by the police.

“Drivers should not speed or overload vehicles with passengers or goods. The mixing of goods and passengers will not be tolerated by the police during this holiday as this contributes to road traffic accidents,” he said.

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