Communities urged to form neighbourhood watch committees to fight crime
Gweru (New Ziana) –Communities should form Neighbourhood Watch Committees to prevent and combat crime in their areas, the police have said.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said this was in response to the recent increase in crime in the country, especially thefts and robberies.
He cited the incident which occurred last Saturday when a family from Woodlands suburb in Gweru was robbed of US60 by a man who went on to forcibly take with him their 21-year-old daughter and raped her in the bush.
Insp Mahoko said the man arrived at the house where the family comprising the mother, the 21-year-old girl and three boys, one aged 18 and two aged 10, were sleeping at around 11 PM.
The man allegedly forced open the main door and demanded US$60 he claimed he was owed by the previous occupant of the house.
Insp Mahoko said the was given $45 and forcefully took with him the 21-year-old daughter, saying he would only release her when he was paid the US$15 balance.
He said the woman returned home at about 3:30 AM the following morning and reported that she had been repeatedly raped in a bush.
Officers from Nehanda Police Station in Mkoba Township visited the home and instituted investigations.
The ZRP introduced the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in 1984 as part of efforts to involve the public in policing issues, initially targeting mainly property owners, who joined and assisted to conduct night patrols in their respective areas.
It has since grown to involve other residents, making them more responsive to the risk of crime and taking action to protect their own and neighbours’ property.
The scheme is one of the major community-oriented programmes introduced after the police constabulary and primarily meant to contain crime in residential areas.
New Neighbourhood Watch Committees as security outfits are mostly composed of volunteers, operating under the mandate of communal consensus to fight crime.
The Officer or Member-In-Charge station is in charge of the Neighbourhood Watch Committees in his area of command.
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