But Zebediah Moyo expressed concern that the cops could use it to vindicate whistle blowers. “The challenge is that the number that sends the message can be traced back to the person who owns that number. People would be scared to text real issues, especially involving corrupt officers,” he said.
Learnmore Chikwewo, 22, from Harare said there was need for a co-ordinated approach between all stations to ensure a swift reaction to the Whatsapp alerts on crime.
“My hope is that they have set up reactionary teams in all country’s provinces and at all police posts,” he said, indicating that failure to establish reaction teams had the potential to portray the police force in bad light. “If a person sends an alert and members of force fail to react, then it means that the platform is not helping citizens.”
Gamuchirai Shanyurai, 26, from Budiriro believes that the ZRP should provide adequate resources to react swiftly to crime alerts through the Whatsapp. “It will not make sense if the police are going to take ages to react to crime alerts. They should have enough resources and back up in the event that they receive alerts involving dangerous criminals,” she said.
Added another citizen from Highfield in Harare, only identified as Jah Cure: “I do not think that this will help us in any way, because the calibre of members of the force leaves a lot to be desired. The platform will fuel corruption because the police will have a basis to demand for bribes because not all alerts are going to be true.”
Efforts to get a comment from the ZRP were futile as Police Spokesperson Charity Charamba’s mobile was not reachable while Harare Provincial Spokesperson Tedius Chibanda’s mobile was not answered.
The public is encouraged to use the number to report police corruption or brutality to send photographs of witnessed incidents.Post published in: News