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Friday, May 24, 2024

New measures mooted to guard against armed robberies

Story by Theophilus Chuma, Investigative Editor

The government has hinted at tightening private security firm regulations to plug loopholes that contributed to the spike in armed robberies last year.

Illegal firearms stoked flames of armed robberies as the country recorded a spike in cases estimated above 4 500 for 2022.

While official statistics are still being compiled, the trends for 2022 point to a replication of the previous year which registered a record 25 daily robbery cases which were recorded in the ZIMSTAT report for the year 2020 to 2021.

A bi-annual report by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga revealed shocking statistics of crime recorded in the first six months of 2022, indicating 196 883 cases between January and June compared to 175 522 cases recorded under the same period in 2021.

Armed robberies have become the greatest millstone for law enforcers, with the parent Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, hinting at beefing up private security firms to contain the increase in armed robberies.

At a Zimbabwe Republic Police Senior Officers Conference convened late last year, the government bemoaned regulations involving setting up security firms which it said created loopholes to combat armed robberies.

Home Affairs Minister, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe, hinted at tightening measures on setting up private security saying, “Going forward no one should be allowed to start a private security company or employ people who are not adequately trained to use firearms.”

A special task force has also been set up by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to bust armed robberies targeting cash in transit vehicles.

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