Po­lice go high-tech on roads

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Lin­coln Towindo

PO­LICE are rolling out high-tech equip­ment for e-tick­et­ing, speed traps and breathal­yser tests as ef­forts in­ten­sify to en­sure com­pli­ance with traf­fic laws.

The equip­ment, to be de­ployed next month, will also re­duce cor­rup­tion saw of­fend­ing mo­torists pay­ing their way out of trou­ble.

Po­lice Na­tional Spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba re­cently told The Sun­day Mail that the sys­tem had un­der­gone suc­cess­ful pi­lot­ing at sev­eral po­lice sta­tions.

The de­vel­op­ment comes as ZRP Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral God­win Matanga has deep­ened re­forms within the po­lice force through re­struc­tur­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Comm-Gen­eral Matanga has con­sol­i­dated units and de­part­ments whose du­ties over­lapped, and all of­fi­cers are un­der­go­ing re-train­ing in ba­sic polic­ing skills, in­clud­ing crime-scene at­ten­dance and cus­tomer care so as to make the or­gan­i­sa­tion a peo­ple’s force.

Comm-Gen­eral Matanga has en­hanced su­per­vi­sion of de­ployed of­fi­cers, with the po­lice head con­duct­ing im­promptu vis­its at sta­tions and ar­eas of de­ploy­ment.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said pub­lic aware­ness cam­paigns to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the new sys­tem would start soon.

“We have, in line with im­prov­ing our ser­vice through pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships, an un­der­stand­ing with a com­pany called Univern.

“They have al­ready pro­cured elec­tronic tick­et­ing de­vices which we will be de­ploy­ing very soon as a way of im­prov­ing our ser­vice at road­blocks and wher­ever we is­sue tick­ets. That will also re­duce cases of cor­rup­tion.

“They have also pur­chased breath- al­y­sers and speed traps; these will en­hance the way we do our work. Our of­fi­cers have al­ready un­der­gone train­ing and the gad­gets are al­ready there.

“Very soon, we should start to see them on our roads, but first we want to ed­u­cate the pub­lic be­fore we roll out the ex­er­cise.

“With this sys­tem, an of­fi­cer at a road block can­not charge a fake fine like they used to do in the past be­cause fines for all of­fences are pre-loaded in the ma­chine,” she said.

The sys­tem will be di­rectly linked to the Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem to get un­reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles off the roads.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said as part of a broader ini­tia­tive to re­form the po­lice, some units had been col­lapsed to en­hance ef­fi­cien­cies and ef­fec­tive­ness.

The Min­er­als and Border Con­trol Unit, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and the Na­tional Traf­fic Unit have been dis­banded, with of­fi­cers from the de­part­ments re­de­ployed.

She said: “We have re­duced some of­fices and po­lice have gone on the ground to beef up man­power to in­crease vis­i­bil­ity.

“So far, the Min­er­als and Border Con­trol Unit has been dis­banded. The Min­er­als Unit fell un­der CID and the Border Con­trol is now un­der Sup­port Unit.

“The logic is that the po­lice need to have more pres­ence and more su­per­vi­sion, and it’s also log­i­cal that Border Con­trol falls un­der the Sup­port Unit, which tra­di­tion­ally does the pa­trols along the bor­ders.

“Of­fi­cers from the Anti-Stock Theft Unit now re­port to the po­lice sta­tions where they are sta­tioned. We also have Na­tional Traf­fic, they are now re­port­ing to the Of­fi­cer-in-Charge at their sta­tions.

“We no longer have the Na­tional Traf­fic Head­quar­ters; they now re­port to the Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing prov­inces — it is now de­cen­tralised.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the re­cently es­tab­lished Anti-Cor­rup­tion Unit was al­ready mak­ing its pres­ence felt.

She said the re­cent ar­raign­ment be­fore the courts of for­mer Cabi­net min­is­ter Mr Saviour Ka­sukuwere was a re­sult of in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the unit.

“Our anti-cor­rup­tion unit is work­ing on plenty of cor­rup­tion cases. The Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral has vowed to de­ci­sively deal with all cases of cor­rup­tion,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the anti-cor­rup­tion drive would also probe pri­vate sec­tor graft.

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