Police need to adopt safe policing standards

The story of a suspected fuel smuggler, who died after plunging into a river apparently fleeing from the police that appeared in NewsDay yesterday, makes for sad reading.

Source: Police need to adopt safe policing standards – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 22, 2016

Comment: NewsDay Editor

Any smuggling of any form needs to be curbed. However, what is bothersome is the role the police played leading to this suspected smuggler’s death.

Also, even though police strenuously deny it, there are instances where the law enforcement agents engage in dangerous pursuits of motorists that endanger people’s lives.

Examples abound of when the police have thrown spikes in front of loaded kombis in an effort to apprehend the drivers, seemingly oblivious of the danger they are putting the passengers in.

While kombi drivers can be rude and sometimes need to be apprehended, we feel there are better ways of doing that without putting the lives of passengers, pedestrians and other motorists in unnecessary danger.

Instead of guaranteeing peace, in some cases, the police are now just as bad if not worse than the kombi drivers they want to prosecute.

For example, since there are so many roadblocks, instead of giving chase, the police can alert their colleagues of an offending driver at the next police check.

This can be one way of avoiding the unnecessary commotion in the central business districts that often characterises police chases.

Probably, police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba has an explanation on why this method will not be the most effective, but the idea is come up with plans and strategies that do not endanger anyone.

This is not to absolve offending motorists, but rather to come up with ideas of safe policing.

A lot of mistrust of police officers has developed among kombi drivers and motorists, as there is a perception that each time one is stopped by the law enforcement agents, they will be forced to pay a bribe.

This is one reason why some feel obliged to flee each time police officers approach. There is also a lackadaisical approach from police officers in the manner they deal with kombis loading from illegal spots and this reinforces the perception of the law enforcement agents being bribed.

Thus, Charamba has her work cut out for her in how she manages perceptions of the police force.

While the battle to rid the country of too many roadblocks seems to have been lost, the police should make sure they follow their charter when dealing with motorists and any form of corruption should be dealt with strongly.

Instead of being feared, the police should be approachable and offer a humane service and this could be the first step of ending cat-and-mouse high speed chases between cops and motorists or any other citizen for that matter.

COMMENTS

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    zindoga 6 years ago

    Remember these police in Zim are not for Zimbabweans , they are for Zannu it’s Zanu Republic Police not Zimbabwe replublic police. They were all employed on a zanu pf ticket after passing zanu laws of toucher,abuse , corruption, kidnapping, ,intimidation , rigging and nepotism. True police know how to deal with their citizens and are friendly to citizens who will also help them flush out the bad guys .But in zim it’s actually the police and zanu who are the bad guys so the citizens will have to pay either with their lives , money ,properties or their bodies .
    What an evil nation governed by devils with no remorse no mess to their brothers and sisters
    Shame on you Zanu and your thugs