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Decline in crimes involving unregistered vehicles

by Staff reporter
03 Feb 2022 at 05:37hrs | Views
THERE has been a 75 percent reduction in crimes associated with unregistered motor vehicles and those without number plates such as armed robbery, rape and kidnapping in Bulawayo since a blitz was launched last month by police against such cars.

As of Tuesday, 24 355 people had been arrested since the blitz started on January 15.

On average, 10 000 people are arrested per week and close to 1 400 per day. According to police, unregistered vehicles and those without number plates are also being used as getaway cars in the commission of dangerous crimes, that include armed robberies, murder, rape and kidnapping.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said cases involving unregistered cars and those without number plates have gone down by 75 percent.

"On average we were receiving four cases of robberies involving unregistered motor vehicles per week. But now we receive just one. During this operation we almost realised 75 percent reduction of similar crimes," said Insp Ncube.

"We have seen a reduction of cases involving such vehicles in offences like robberies and rape over the period of this operation."

Insp Ncube urged members of the public not to board pirate taxis as this exposes them to rape, robbery and kidnapping.

"Of course, we have received a case of robbery and rape where a woman boarded a motor vehicle going to Southwold, and on the way, she was raped. But generally, the cases have reduced," Insp Ncube said.

"Despite the fact that we have an operation, our members of the public are still supporting these vehicles. So, we are urging them to cooperate with the police and only use licensed public service vehicles and not pirate taxis."

When the operation was rolled out, motorists swarmed the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) to register their cars and get number plates.

Some even complained that there was a shortage, prompting the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Felix Mhona to visit CVR offices two weeks ago.

Minister Mhona ordered officials to ensure that all those that had submitted applications for number plates get them by this week.

As part of the Government's intervention, permanent number plates are now available at Zimra border posts, so anyone importing a vehicle now buys the permanent plates as they clear their car through customs, meaning temporary plates will no longer be issued.

Since every vehicle now keeps the same plates for its Zimbabwean life regardless of how many times it is bought and sold, this means even commercial importers and clearing agents can buy the permanent plates at the same time that they pay import duty and subsequent owners simply have to pay the transfer taxes and register the ownership change.

All border posts, except Plumtree, are stocked with enough permanent number plates as Government introduces a cocktail of measures to curb crime and make it as easy as possible for vehicle owners to pay taxes and duties and register their vehicles. Police said some motorists are using fake temporary vehicle number plates to avoid being arrested.

Source - The Chronicle
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