Police patrols long overdue

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) should be applauded for re-launching patrol units countrywide as this will help curb crime.

Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga was spot-on when he recently bemoaned the absence of police officers on the streets, ordering them to resume patrols.

Matanga said it was worrisome that streets were devoid of police patrols save for security personnel from private companies.

Police officers should always be visible in the community as their visibility has the capacity to reduce crime.

In recent years, muggings and thefts have increased, hence the call for 24-hour police patrols.

Communities, on the other hand, should take advantage of the patrols and assist police in fighting crime in their neighbourhoods.

The absence of police patrols has seen a surge in housebreakings with families losing household goods while robbers have also targeted businesses.

Recent reports of female teachers being raped at schools while others are robbed growth points due to the absence of police in communities.

The success of police patrols will, in the long run, boost the public’s image of police services as crime would be dealt with timeously.

These patrol units should also be deployed in congested towns and cities where thieves and criminals operating in syndicates take advantage of human traffic, stealing from unsuspecting people.

They must also cover notorious bus termini where travellers are harassed by touts and in the process lose valuables in broad daylight.

In the cities and towns, hopefully the police patrols will manage to bring order to traffic as drivers seem to break road rules; entering traffic light-controlled intersections and driving along wrong lanes.

Notorious kombi and mushika-shika drivers are now in the habit of parking on the roads, hence making roads inaccessible to other traffic.

In recent months, it took ages for traffic police to attend to accidents because they were absent from the streets. The delay in attending to road accidents creates jams as vehicles involved block traffic for long periods.

Apart from police street patrols, the ZRP’s traffic department must also conduct highway patrols to minimise lawlessness on our main roads.

Bringing back police patrols should not be licence for officers to harass innocent people while it is hoped gaps leading to corruption resurfacing will not be opened up.

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