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Cops loaning their uniforms to criminals for a fee

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  • “It is a worrying trend when people go on to commit such crimes because being in possession of a police uniform when you are not a member of the ZRP is an offence,” said ZRP national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi. .

By Mutsa Makuvaza

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has disclosed that some unscrupulous police officers are loaning their uniforms to criminals for a fee, a ‘worrying’ situation which has seen 105 bogus cops in the first eight months of 2020 for terrorising unsuspecting members of the public around the country.

According to Section 179 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23, impersonating a police officer, peace officer or public official is a jailable offence.

While most of the culprits are believed to be getting old uniforms from deserters or stealing from serving officers, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said some bonafide law enforcement agents are loaning their uniforms to the culprits, who in turn pay a token.

He urged members of the public to cooperate with the police by reporting the criminals, saying the trend in such cases was now worrying.

“It is a worrying trend when people go on to commit such crimes because being in possession of a police uniform when you are not a member of the ZRP is an offence,” he said.

“These crimes are being committed nationwide. We are on high alert and ready to interrogate any suspicious ‘officers’ and deal with the culprits.”

A police officer dusts his uniform after a rough encounter with MDC Alliance supporters. ZRP says some unscrupulous cops are loaning their uniforms to criminals for a fee.

Nyathi further said that when confronted by police, members of the community should ask officers to identify themselves by producing police identity cards where necessary and should request to proceed to the nearest police station if there is a need.

According to Nyathi, the fraudsters have so far committed various offences in the name of the uniformed forces with some of them wearing police regalia before going around suburbs in vehicles without number plates extorting and robbing people of their valuables.

In some instances, the bogus officers would man fake roadblocks where they would shake down motorists.

Of the more than 105 cases, 101 arrests have been effected with some of the culprits serving jail terms, said Nyathi. ■

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