Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police on Friday opened two new bases in Victoria Falls as law enforcement agents declared zero tolerance to serious crimes such as poaching that are prevalent in Matabeleland North province.
Officiating at the re-launch of the Police Client Service Charter in the resort town which coincided with the opening of the new bases, officer commanding Matabeleland North Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Chituku said effective policing happens when there is co-operation from members of the public.
“Zimbabweans deserve the best police service hence our vision to be the leading police force in the world by 2020. The fight against crime calls for maximum support from all citizens.
“We are humbled by the efforts made by the business community and want to extend gratitude to the municipality for availing land,” said Snr Assist Comm Chikutu.
The Victoria Falls Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe (BACFOZ) donated two buildings at Victoria Falls Border Post and Mkhosana suburb for the new police bases.
Construction work is underway on a third one at Ezengeni in Chinotimba.
Snr Assist Chikutu earlier led a delegation comprising members of BACFOZ, Crime Consultative Forum, Business Against Stocktheft (BAST), Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube and other officials on a tour of the police bases.
He said the opening of the bases confirmed the police commitment to move closer to communities in the fight against crime.
Turning to the prevalence of crime, Snr Assist Comm Chikutu said theft from motor vehicles, armed robberies, fraud, rape, unlawful entry, theft and murder cases increased while only stock theft cases went down.
Theft from motor vehicles increased from 151 cases in 2015 to 225 in 2016. Armed robberies increased from three to four while cases of fraud increased from 179 to 225 during the same period.
A total of 202 wildlife crimes were committed last year, up from 188 in 2015.
There were 50 murders recorded, an increase by one.
“I appeal to you to help us fight poaching for it threatens tourism which is the major economic activity in our province. We have declared zero tolerance on it and don’t dare enter our national parks or forest areas with poaching in mind,” said Snr Assist Comm Chikutu.
He encouraged members of the public to secure their properties and to raise alarm when they detect corruption.