Public urged to effect citizen arrest on corrupt cops
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Speaking at a crime awareness campaign in Bulawayo yesterday, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba expressed concern over the increased incidents of police corruption, especially at roadblocks.
"At roadblocks a lot of corruption is happening in full view of passengers, especially in kombis. When you see it happening, effect a citizen arrest on both the driver and police officer. Alternatively members of the public can take down the registration number of the kombi, force number of the police officer, which is usually printed in the chest, take note of the time and place of incident and report at your nearest police station," said Asst Comm Charamba.
She said police would use the information to determine which police officers were at the roadblock at the time and whether it was an officially sanctioned roadblock.
Asst Comm Charamba said police would not hesitate to take action on their fellow officers and the drivers, as corruption was a cancer that has to be weeded out.
She said drivers promote corruption by getting out of their vehicles every time they are stopped at roadblocks thereby giving officers a chance to solicit for bribes out of sight of the passengers.
"We strongly encourage drivers to remain in their vehicles after being stopped at roadblocks. They should not be tempted to stop at places far removed from the roadblocks, as this will make them walk back to the police officers. Drivers are only required to step out of the vehicle where there is need to search the vehicle," said Asst Comm Charamba.
She assured the nation that the police remained committed to rid the force of corrupt police officers, saying the police are expected to exude exemplary conduct.
Last year 123 police officers, 30 of them from the traffic section, were arrested for corruption and 32 have since been discharged from the force while some cases are still pending.
Turning to road accidents, Asst Comm Charamba said the recent festive season was the bloodiest in the country's history and attributed most traffic accidents to drunken driving and human error.
"Highways have become a death trap claiming lots of lives, for instance we had the deadliest festive season, which claimed over 200 lives," said Asst Comm Charamba.
She discouraged transport operators from setting unrealistic income targets for drivers saying this had the tendency of creating urgency, anxiety and lack of concentration, which led to drivers speeding and overloading so as to meet their targets.
Asst Comm Charamba urged members of the public not to board non public service transport vehicles, as some of them were being used by criminals to rob unsuspecting passengers.
Speaking at the same occasion, National Deputy Officer Commanding Traffic Assistant Commissioner Kenny Mthombeni said the road carnage increased by 16 percent from 1 810 accidents, which were recorded in 2011 to 2 094 accidents in 2012.
He urged drivers to be cautious on the road and desist from drunken driving.
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