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POLICE WARNING: Private security firms potential criminals

by Staff Reporter
02 Feb 2023 at 23:08hrs | Views
Commissioner Patson Nyabadza
POLICE have warned Bulawayo residents against hiring private security companies to patrol in their suburbs as that could expose them to criminals.

The officer Commanding Bulawayo Province Commissioner Patson Nyabadza, while addressing the Provincial Crime Liaison Committee chairpersons on Wednesday, said community leaders must use their influence to help recruit residents into neighbourhood watch committees

The meeting is one of many that Comm Nyabadza will hold with various stakeholders involved in the fight against crime in the city.

Last year residents of Lobengula West came together and engaged a private security company to patrol their suburb.

The residents were contributing US$7 per household each month and part of the money was going to the company while the other was going to a community fund.

"We have heard some reports that some communities within Bulawayo are contemplating employing private security companies to patrol their residential areas. While it may seem a good idea, the risks may be more than the intended benefits. Such patrols might introduce more criminals to your areas. Some criminals might even take advantage of the situation and invade the community even more. This is why we say let us meet and plan together on how the initiatives can be strengthened, empowered and invigorated to do the job," he said.

Comm Nyabadza said residents must form neighbourhood watch committees.

He raised concern about drug abuse in the city.

"We are concerned with drug abuse by youths and adults drug peddling, supply and sale within communities and their effects in general. In a week or two weeks ago, the community, secondary schools in Entumbane held a successful campaign against drugs which also saw a number of other stakeholders joining. These drugs and substances are being sold in the communities you lead. We therefore appeal to you to help activate all systems to flush out the drug menace from Bulawayo. Our children should be given an opportunity to grow, learn and develop like we did," he said.

"Copper cable thieves are back and we appreciate that some residents like in Burnside, Matsheumhlope, Entumbane, Pumula and Njube to name but a few are making efforts to thwart these criminals. We need more information on these cases so that we can rescue the situation. We are equally worried about robberies which happen when victims are asleep.

Some people are robbed whilst boarding mshikashika against police advice. Please help spread the word that we are receiving a number of rape and robbery cases perpetrated by the mshikashika crews." Comm Nyabadza urged community leaders to share information on crime early and never to allow communities to harbour criminals.

Comm Nyabadza said such efforts will help to make Bulawayo a safe city that is conducive for business, in that way contributing to the Government's drive for the country to attain an upper middle income status by 2030.

Provincial Crime Liaison Committee (PCLC) chairperson, Mr Matienga Muchemwa said communities must support the work of police and work with them in the fight against crime in their suburbs.

"Police must do more to investigate people selling drugs in schools. Investigations must be done on copper and aluminium smelters to thwart cable stealing. We also urge police to go after known criminals who have been reported to police because we do not want to have the people who are untouchable in our communities. Residents must expose criminals and never provide a safe haven for them. As neighbours we must have good relations because these are the first people who attend to us when we are in trouble," he said.

He also urged police to patrol crime hot-spots and bring perpetrators to book.

Some residents' leaders said some vendors selling outside school premises were selling drugs to learners hence the need for school, community members and police to work together to flush them out.

Source - The Chronicle