Bulawayo’s top cop has accused private security firms of using toy guns to scare away criminals resulting in armed robberies involving cash-in-transit duties.
Officer commanding Bulawayo province Commissioner Patton Mbangwa told journalists that at least 10 security companies in the city had fallen victim to armed robbers in the past few weeks. He said:
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There is a security company that actually gave its guards a toy gun (when) transporting cash, a toy pistol and it’s your money that is being guarded. We are saying security people should shoot at criminals.
If you have guns, pistols, you should shoot at those people, shoot the cars, their tyres, you should disable those criminals.
We want to have a paradigm shift in terms of the way our security teams operate. They should operate in such a way that we safeguard what we are given.
Let’s not just be a security company by name but let us be serious security companies. You might be aware that one of our colleagues, Romicon Security, who are the ones who were robbed the other day, were ferrying people’s money in a kombi.
Obviously, that alone shows that that security company is not serious. These are things that we want to tackle.
We are saying we should have armoured vehicles because we are carrying money and people know that.
We should harden the target; criminals should not just take that money by merely approaching your vehicle. That thing (kombi) you could not even make a good escape.
The latest high-profile armed robbery incident in Bulawayo occurred last Thursday when an armed gang seized seven boxes full of an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing a cash-in-transit vehicle outside a Choppies Supermarket in Parklands