xd45compside.jpgArmed robbery cases for the year 2010 have doubled compared to 2009, with Mashonaland East province recording a shocking 101 cases up from 8 recorded last year.

 

Statistics show that cases of armed robbery have more than doubled in the year 2010, with 778 cases being recorded compared to 362 cases last year.

Top of the list however, is the Harare metropolitan province which recorded 178 armed robbery cases compared to 54 in 2009, followed by Bulawayo province which recorded 132 cases compared to 70 cases last year.

The two provinces also saw the death of two police officers in shoot outs with armed robbers.

On third position is the Midlands province which recorded 107 cases up from 34 cases last year, followed by Mashonaland West province which had 106 cases up from 24 cases, while Masvingo had 103 cases up from 59 cases last year.

Mashonaland Central province had the least number of armed robberies with only 8 recorded up from two the previous year while Matabeleland province recorded 10 cases up from 3 cases last year.

 

Police Chief Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said most of the armed robbers were targeting shops, banks, residents and taxis.

However, from high profile armed robbery cases which were prosecuted this year, there was no message sent to offenders as there were no stiff sentences from the judiciary.

Some observers have raised eyebrows on the commitment of the judiciary system and law enforcement agents’ commitment to curbing such heinous crimes.

In recent judgments of bank heists that include the ZB Nyanga and Chegutu Stanbic bank robberies, magistrates have castigated the police for overlooking important issues, resulting in suspects being acquitted on the grounds of inadmissible evidence.

Of critical importance has been the lack of forensic evidence from the police while on their part the judiciary has been accused of acquitting armed robbery suspects on the grounds of minor technicalities.