Who will guard the Guards?

“Who will guard the Guards? Examining crime in the context of state fragility and the involvement of security force personnel in crimes”

Zimbabwe has recently experienced a seeming increase in the involvement of members of the security forces in criminal activities. This has raised the concern of the government and even the President. This has manifested through an increase in incidents of armed robbery and the solicitation of bribes by members of the security forces. Such occurrences are a frequent concomitant of fragile states, and too frequently are linked to Transnational Organised Crime (TOC and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

Due to the human rights implications of the increase in the use of firearms and the abuse of power by members of the security forces, The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Hela Zimbabwe Trust, Research and Advocacy Unit, VERITAS, and the Counselling Services Unit commissioned a report, “Who Guards the Guards? Monitoring Crime and Security Force Involvement in Crime.

Human rights awareness remains an essential cog in the promotion and protection of citizens’ rights, and any involvement of state security agencies in criminal activities must be a high priority for citizen safety. One of the most fundamental obligations of the state is to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry. This is undermined when state agents become involved in criminal activities.

The report was launched on SAPES Trust to complement the concerns raised by the government, and to provide the citizenry with an objective assessment of the scale of the problem

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