Zimbabwe Republic Police in Bulawayo Metropolitan province yesterday re-launched the Service Charter and a Whatsapp platform aimed at improving its service delivery.
The re-launch of the Service Charter comes against the backdrop of increasing rape and theft cases in the province. Officially launching the Service Charter at Emakhandeni Secondary school yesterday, Officer Commanding Bulawayo Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Mutamba said although there was an increase in rape and theft cases, the province recorded a significant decrease in general crime last year.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Bulawayo province recorded a decrease in crime in general last year compared to 2013. A total of 19,716 cases were recorded last year compared to 22,563 in 2013. This translates to a 13 percent decrease. However, we still experience problems with cases that include unlawful entry into premises and theft, robberies and rape.
Despite these cases having been on the decline in 2014, they are threatening to increase this year, if we do not come together once again and come up with strategies to fight crime,” Snr Asst Comm Mutamba said.
He said cases of rape particularly of children were very worrying. He urged society to work together in fighting the growing scourge.
“On rape cases, we recorded a total of 151 cases of adult rape compared to 161 cases in 2013. Disappointingly 177 cases of rape perpetrated on juveniles were recorded in 2014 compared to 148 cases in 2013, translating to an increase of 29 cases. In that regard, I would like to discourage people, particularly women and children from using shortcuts that pass through bush areas. It is at such places where many robberies and rape cases occur,” said Snr Asst Comm Mutamba.
He said the Police Service Charter was a document that has been in existence since 1995 when it was officially launched.
It serves to inform members of the public on the level and quality of service they should expect from the police.
Snr Asst Comm Mutamba also took the opportunity to unveil the Whatsapp platform that will make communication easier between members of the public and the police.
“I’m glad to announce that this re-launch comes with another initiative of the provincial Whatsapp network which will improve the flow of information and tips between members of the public and the police. The whatsapp for the province will be monitored 24 hours a day and seven days a week by professionally trained officers who will ensure swift reaction to information passed as well as protecting the identity of our informers.
“I’m therefore officially launching the Bulawayo metropolitan provincial Whatsapp line 0776 097 122. Let me warn criminals that their activities will never go unchecked as even their activities can be recorded on video on Whatsapp,” said Snr Asst Comm Mutamba.
Added Snr Asst Mutamba: “As enshrined in our ZRP Service Charter, we shall always undertake to perform our duties diligently, courteously, without fear or favour and within the limits of the law”.
The launch was attended by members of the police force, residents, Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe and members of the crime consultative committee.
Members of the neighbourhood watch committee from Nkulumane district who performed exceptionally well in their duties of fighting crime were awarded prizes.
The prizes included a refrigerator, bicycles, wheelbarrow, and door frames among other items donated by the Bulawayo business community.