The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) says criminals should not expect leniency when they resist arrest or fire towards police officers.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned robbers that the police officers are empowered by the law to protect themselves and effect arrests against hostile criminals. He said:
When people commit crimes, they should not resist arrest or police orders. So robbers who fire towards the police should not expect any leniency because the law is very clear in terms of how firearms can be used against hostile criminals.
We are forging ahead with fishing them out and we have set up crack teams throughout the country, we are not going back. Those engaged in robbery should stop forthwith.
Recently, police apprehended a number of notorious armed robbery suspects including the Godfrey Josi-led gang, which was implicated in multiple heists.
Benjamin Craig Musasa and Richard Mutanga, who were part of the gang, were killed after gun battles with law enforcement agents.
Meanwhile, police say they have set up specialised crack teams of detectives targeting the masterminds of armed robberies.
This is in response to a rise in armed robberies, with at least six robberies being committed in Zimbabwe daily.
According to consolidated robbery statistics released by the ZRP last week, 876 robbery cases were recorded between January and May this year, an increase compared to the same period last year.
During this period, there were 11 cases of robbery perpetrated using firearms, 427 committed using other weapons and 438 cases of plain robbery.
May had the most robbery activity with a total of 189 cases recorded, an increase of 95 cases compared to last year.