Zimbabwe Security Companies Using Toy Guns To Protect Cash-In-Transit Vehicles: Police
The police in Zimbabwe have revealed that some private security companies have been issuing their personnel with toy guns when providing cash-in-transit services.
The announcement comes at a time when there has been a surge in armed robberies and other violent crimes in Bulawayo. Just last week, some armed robbers carried out a brazen daylight robbery of a cash-in-transit vehicle at a Choppies Supermarket.
According to the police, most of the private security companies are ill-equipped to provide security for the cash-in-transit services because they are incapable of shooting at the criminals.
The less resourced companies have been issuing their security guards with toy guns which are only for show, and of no use during a robbery. The well-resourced companies, on the other hand, have been issuing their personnel with semi-automatic guns. According to the police, these are too dangerous to use during shootouts in public due to the high risk of collateral damage.
This was revealed at a meeting held between the police, private security companies and the business sector on Monday in the wake of the armed robberies. During the meeting, Officer commanding Bulawayo Province Commissioner Patton Mbangwa said,
“There is a security company which actually gave its guards a toy gun (when) transporting cash, a toy pistol and it’s your money that is being guarded. We are saying security people should shoot at criminals. If you have guns, pistols, you should shoot at those people, shoot the cars, their tyres, you should disable those criminals.”
The Chronicle reports that Commissioner Mbangwa also called on security companies to up their game and implement security protocols that would make robbers think twice.
“Let’s not just be a security company by name but let us be serious security companies. You might be aware that one of our colleagues, Romicon Security, who are the ones who were robbed the other day, were ferrying people’s money in a kombi.”
“…We are saying we should have armoured vehicles because we are carrying money and people know that. We should harden the target; criminals should not just take that money by merely approaching your vehicle. That thing (kombi) you could not even make a good escape.”
The police also accused the security companies of employing old and unfit security guards, who cannot handle the rigours of the job.
“Some of your security personnel have reduced themselves to washing people’s hands at entry points, sanitising hands, as opposed to focusing on security matters. They are supposed to be alert and surveilling what is happening. Be seen and be known for what you are employed for.”
The stakeholders resolved to hold another meeting next week after Monday’s meeting was attended mainly by junior officers from the business community. Senior managers and other decision-makers were urged to attend the next meeting.
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