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Zimbabwe police to train security guards

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2022 at 04:58hrs | Views
Private security guards will soon undergo basic formal levels of training by the police, as Government upgrades the industry following a recent rise in robberies through a review of the Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act.

Speaking after yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Jenfan Muswere said the move was designed to upgrade and equip private security personnel who contributed immensely in safeguarding property.

"Cabinet resolved to review the Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act in order to improve the private security industry to ensure that only police-trained guards work in law enforcement," he said.

"This position was arrived at given the role the private security companies play in complementing the efforts of the police in reducing crime in the country.

"As such, there is a need for private security guards to receive basic formal training."

Responding to questions, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said Government largely acknowledged the role of the security guards.

"I want to say we need to have professional private security guards and in fact the major reason we are having to go this route is that we acknowledge the role played by private sector companies in complementing what the Government is doing in terms of law enforcement," he said.

The increase in robberies had also resulted in the decision to train security guards.

"We are also aware that there has been an increase in crimes of late, so we believe that private guards have to be trained to also assist professionally and consistent with the expectation of the police because they are also taking part in law enforcement," said Minister Kazembe.

Nearly 19 000 cases of robbery and over 3 500 killings were recorded in Zimbabwe between January 2020 and December 2021, official statistics show.

Data obtained from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) shows there were 9 364 cases of robbery (931 armed) in 2020, while 9 515 (1 120 armed) were recorded the following year.

This translates to an average of 25 robberies daily.

Police also handled 917 cases of illegal firearms possession over the same period, with 472 cases being recorded in 2020, while there were 445 the following year.

In addition, there were 1 614 murder cases reported in 2020, a figure that rose sharply to 1 969 in the following year, official data shows.

Zimbabwe has recorded a rise in violent crimes in recent years, prompting police to set up a specialised taskforce to deal with rising violent criminal activity.

In August, President Mnangagwa decreed a firearms amnesty granting clemency for voluntary surrender of unregistered firearms and ammunition to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) by September 30.

Police recovered 538 unregistered firearms and 260 rounds of ammunition during the two-month window, thus reducing the risk that unregistered firearms could get into the hands of criminals.

Source - The Chronicle
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