Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has taken numerous measures to combat rising crime across the country.
He said ZRP has intensified foot, cycle and motorised patrols in crime-prone areas among other measures to arrest a surge in violent crime cases in recent months.
Kazembe was responding to Nketa Constituency legislator Phelela Masuku (MDC Alliance) who had asked him about measures being implemented by Government to stop the rising crimes. Said Kazembe:
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There are numerous ongoing measures aimed at curbing armed robberies, burglaries and muggings which include the following: intensifying foot, cycle and motorised patrols in crime-prone areas.
In addition, the Commissioner-General has directed all officers commanding provinces to deploy Support Unit, Criminal Investigations Department, Duty Uniform Branch and Police Intelligence in hot spots to curtail the robbery cases.
The police command is engaging the Judiciary as well as another measure, urging them to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of violent crimes such as armed robberies, muggings and murder as a deterrent measure.
Kazembe said it was unwise for members of the public to keep large sums of cash at home or business premises as they risk falling victim to armed robbers. He said:
We are also heightening awareness campaigns, educating members of the public not to keep large sums of money at home or business premises or even to move around with huge sums of money. You find for instance people moving around with R190 000.
I know there is a case where this amount was stolen. You find people keeping as much as close to a million United States dollars in a company safe when financial institutions are available.
Kazembe also blamed the increase in firearms on smuggling and on some licensed firearms owners’ failure to secure their guns. He said:
Some licensed firearms owners are also not securing their weapons and, in the process, end up losing them to criminals who then use them to commit robbery cases.
Accordingly, the police are intensifying roadblocks, stop and searches as well as awareness campaigns to conscientise firearm license holders to adhere to the provisions of the Firearms Act which demands the safe storage of firearms at all times.