Security companies fret over robberies

Source: Security companies fret over robberies | The Sunday Mail

Security companies fret over robberies

Leroy Dzenga
Senior Reporter

PRIVATE security companies have asked the Government to allow some of their guards to be trained by the police on how to react better to armed robbers.

The recent spate of robberies has put into question the effectiveness of private security companies, who are in most cases either subdued or complicit.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Security Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) vice president Mr Tapiwa Karoro said private security companies met in Bulawayo recently to reflect on possible solutions to combat armed robberies.

The grouping recommended more specialised training for security guards to give them proficiency in handling firearms.

Under the current regulations, private security guards are not expected to use deadly force.

They are only allowed to use their guns to immobilise robbers and intruders.

“As SAZ, we have made representations to the Ministry of Home Affairs for authorisation of private security to have specially trained teams to operate in an armed emergency response role in a limited manner.

“This would provide a much-needed deterrent and act in the absence of the response promised by the ZRP.

“The training of the armed private security operatives would be overseen and authorised by the police to ensure that standards are at the highest levels and citizen safety is at the forefront of any operational deployment,” said Mr Karoro.

At the meeting, SAZ members also agreed to make better use of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, especially the Support Unit, to assist with emergency calls for support in the event of an armed attack.

Last month, Fawcett Security guards allegedly stage-managed a heist in which US$334 000 was stolen.
The prevalence of similar cases has been cited as a cause for concern by SAZ.

Screening for would-be security guards is also going to be tightened.

“It is unfortunate that some security guards have been involved in crime. Insider knowledge related to crime is not just peculiar to Zimbabwe, but it is prevalent across the board.

‘‘To counter this, SAZ encourages its members and all other security companies to vet its security operatives, as well as develop security systems and strategies that do not rely entirely on the human element — guards and or employees,” he said.

Gun use in Zimbabwe is legislated through the Firearms Act.

The law requires an assessment of one’s mental standing before granting a firearm.
It also prohibits sale or transfer of a guns’ possession without knowledge and approval of the Controller, who is in this case the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

ZRP says most guns used in crimes are either inherited under unlawful circumstances when the licensed holder dies, or are smuggled into Zimbabwe.

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