Story by Fungai Jachi, Courts Reporter
The public has been left at the mercy of criminals amid revelations that police have reduced their presence in residential areas.
The increase in violent crimes recorded in recent weeks has left the public feeling unsafe with some laying the blame on the police for neglect of duty.
Those who spoke to ZBC News challenged the police to conduct more patrols in residential areas to ward off criminals.
Mr Muza of Harare said, ”Back in the day we always knew that the police would patrol and this would scare off criminals, but now it’s a different story.”
Mr Matimba noted, “Constant police presence is key because criminals will get scared and will not attack.’’
Ms Gava said, ”Let the police reintroduce the random patrols and police officers should be friendly and not act like we are enemies so that we will be able to approach them with our concerns.”
Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, who was a guest on ZBC News and Current Affairs programme Face the Nation this Tuesday responded to the public’s concerns.
”We do give such patrols and they are mostly done by neighbourhood watch and they are usually in the presence of a regular officer. They do have arresting powers and they are more efficient because they operate in the areas they live in. Everywhere else except for Harare we do have neighbourhood watch officers and we are sorting out the problem in Harare,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi discouraged the public from using pirate taxies which have become easy targets for armed robbers and rapists.
”More cases of armed robbery are happening in pirate taxies. They take advantage of the desperate commuting public and end up robbing them. So people should at all costs avoid these. And also errant drivers are going to be dealt with soon as the government is working on stiffer penalties, especially on spot fines.
“Some drive recklessly because they know they can easily pay low fines and get away but these fines are going to be reviewed and more deterrent ones are going to be put in place.”
He also disclosed that they have arrested a number of drug peddlers after raiding some drug bases in Harare’s Mbare and Mabvuku suburbs