Editor's Comment

Stop the robbers

FILE: INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Kakoma Kanganja conducting a drill in Chilanga’s Mount Makulu area. PICTURE: POLICE SERVICE/PR

IT IS that time of the year again when citizens get into a festive mood while criminals try to make the most of people’s heightened expenditure and generally relaxed environment.
Crime is expected to begin to rise heading to Christmas and New Year’s days and as people take on a happy-go-lucky attitude, they should keep in mind that others are planning on making their festivities miserable.
The gunning down of seven criminals on Thursday night might not be related to the general increase in crime during such times of the year, but the incident is certainly a good reminder for all to be extra vigilant.
Going by initial police reports on this shooting incident, it is clear that these criminals have been at it for some time now. The various foreign currencies said to have been found in their possession also points to a likelihood that foreigners are key targets.
The police, however, caution everyone to guard against exposing too much money. These criminals have a nose for money. They can smell it from miles away and they would pounce at any opportunity. Don’t give them this chance.
They are evidently also very patient and they plan on who and when to strike. The execution of their plans is made easier by those who throw caution to the wind and take things for granted.
The police have often advised against moving large amounts of money without appropriate security, yet there are times when the criminals steal from those without any serious measure of security. This shouldn’t be happening.
Individuals and companies are making themselves easy targets by ignoring police advice, and this is so largely because of the reluctance to pay for the security. Unfortunately for some of those that don’t see the need to invest in security, the impact has been terrible.
This also points to the fact that many people are routine in their movements. They are predictable and so the criminals take advantage to plan and carry out their robberies.
And so as the world gets closer to the festive period, Zambians ought to know that they are being watched closely by those that want to reap where they did not sow.
The criminals have their eyes on homes, cars, business outlets and just about any place that could earn them a ‘Christmas bonus’. There are some who also target online enthusiasts. These cyber criminals will be targeting those looking for ‘too good to be true’ online purchase offers.
One does not have to invest in sophisticated security gadgets to keep the robbers at bay. The first, and probably the best, line of defence is to be alert at all times. Don’t be blinded by merrymaking.
Networking with like-minded law-abiding citizens can also help expose and corner the criminals. Share situations and you are bound to get solutions to a possible threat to your life or property. Of course the police should be quickly brought into the picture whenever there is a threat or suspicion.
It was by bringing the police into the picture that the seven criminals were cornered and shot dead, though this is not always the best way to conclude a crime incident.
And talking about the police, we hope that they can be as proactive as they somewhat were in the gunning down of the armed robbers. The police, too, should be extra vigilant. It is good that they have stated that they will.
As most people go on holiday, the police should be getting out of holiday mood and start “double shifts”. They just have to. They have to make the criminals know that they, too, are watching and ready to strike. They must put fear in the criminals.
This is no easy task, but it is one that just has to be done. Never should criminals be, or seem to be, dominating the battle between cops and robbers. The police must always win, for the good of the country.
Then, and only then, can Zambians and other residents in the country happily go about their business and, without hesitation, wish each other well during this festive period.


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