Helicopters, drones for police

THE Government will buy modern surveillance equipment, including high-tech drones and helicopters, to enhance police operations, it has been learnt.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema told our Harare Bureau last week that Government was modernising crime detection, prevention and investigative capacities.

Police will roll out the Electronic Traffic Management System (ETMS) this month following extensive piloting at various stations around the country. ETMS is an IT system that guarantees seamless data capture and communications between various Government departments. E-ticketing, speed traps and breathalysers will be deployed on roads as part of the new system. Minister Mathema said authorities also plan to establish closed circuit television surveillance.

“One of the areas we are looking at is the chaos on our streets. If you look at the traffic chaos in our cities, particularly Harare, ZRP needs to be aware of what is happening in each street. The ZRP needs helicopters and drones. We are saying the ZRP needs helicopters, they need drones; we can’t have a police force that does not have helicopters. There are rallies and all sorts of events where people gather and the ZRP needs to be equipped to monitor that.

Also all our streets need CCTV monitoring; there is no street in London where you are not watched on CCTV and we want to have such a system. We are working on a programme to install CCTV an all our roads, even on the roads blocks, we want to see them on CCTV. We have engaged Treasury to try and secure funding because we have already budgeted for these things,” Minister Mathema said.

The plans are part of the ministry’s 100-day programme. Following last year’s White City Stadium terror attack targeted at President Emmerson Mnangagwa, authorities activated anti-terrorism measures that included deploying special anti-terror personnel and drones at political gatherings countrywide.

Minister Mathema said Government would in a few months roll out e-passports to modernise and enhance security of travel documents.