POLICE are rolling out high-tech equipment for e-ticketing, speed traps and breathalyser tests as efforts intensify to ensure compliance with traffic laws.
The equipment, to be deployed next month, will also reduce corruption that saw offending motorists paying their way out of trouble.
Police National Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba recently told our Harare Bureau that the system had undergone successful piloting at several police stations.
The development comes as ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has deepened reforms within the police force through restructuring the organisation.
Comm-General Matanga has consolidated units and departments whose duties overlapped, and all officers are undergoing re-training in basic policing skills, including crime-scene attendance and customer care so as to make the organisation a people’s force.
Comm-General Matanga has enhanced supervision of deployed officers, with the police head conducting impromptu visits at stations and areas of deployment.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said public awareness campaigns to educate the public on the new system would start soon.
“We have, in line with improving our service through public private partnerships, an understanding with a company called Univern.
“They have already procured electronic ticketing devices which we will be deploying very soon as a way of improving our service at roadblocks and wherever we issue tickets. That will also reduce cases of corruption.
“They have also purchased breathalysers and speed traps; these will enhance the way we do our work. Our officers have already undergone training and the gadgets are already there.
“Very soon, we should start to see them on our roads, but first we want to educate the public before we roll out the exercise.
“With this system, an officer at a road block cannot charge a fake fine like they used to do in the past because fines for all offences are pre-loaded in the machine,” she said.
The system will be directly linked to the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration vehicle registration system to get unregistered vehicles off the roads.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said as part of a broader initiative to reform the police, some units had been collapsed to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness.
The Minerals and Border Control Unit, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and the National Traffic Unit have been disbanded, with officers from the departments redeployed.
She said: “We have reduced some offices and police have gone on the ground to beef up manpower to increase visibility.
“So far, the Minerals and Border Control Unit has been disbanded. The Minerals Unit fell under CID and the Border Control is now under Support Unit.
“The logic is that the police need to have more presence and more supervision, and it’s also logical that Border Control falls under the Support Unit, which traditionally does the patrols along the borders.
“Officers from the Anti-Stock Theft Unit now report to the police stations where they are stationed. We also have National Traffic, they are now reporting to the Officer-in-Charge at their stations.
“We no longer have the National Traffic Headquarters; they now report to the Officer Commanding provinces – it is now decentralised.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the recently established Anti-Corruption Unit was already making its presence felt.
She said the recent arraignment before the courts of former Cabinet minister Mr Saviour Kasukuwere was a result of investigations by the unit.
“Our anti-corruption unit is working on plenty of corruption cases. The Commissioner-General has vowed to decisively deal with all cases of corruption,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the anti-corruption drive would also probe private sector graft.