Police defy spike suspension

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A ZRP officer carries spikes at a roadblock along Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo yesterday

BULAWAYO police have apparently defied national commanders who suspended the use of tyre-shredding spike strips at roadblocks last month following a public outcry after a kombi overturned and injured 16 passengers along Old Khami Road.

A ZRP officer carries spikes at a roadblock along Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo yesterday
A ZRP officer carries spikes at a roadblock along Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo yesterday


BENSON DUBE
OWN CORRESPONDENT

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi last month announced the suspension of the use of the tyre-shredding device saying public safety was their major priority.

Nyathi announced that the spikes were being withdrawn to avoid unnecessary injuries or even deaths of passengers, police officers or innocent bystanders.

However, cops manning a roadblock along Robert Mugabe Way between 12th and 13th Avenue were menacingly carrying the notorious device as they conducted their operations.

Contacted for comment Bulawayo acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube said he was not aware of the roadblock and was never informed about the banning of spikes at checkpoints.

“I am not aware of the roadblock you are talking about (and) I don’t remember any order instructing the (police) service not to carry spikes at roadblocks. Moreover I am not in town,” Ncube said.

There has been an increasing concern that this tire-deflation device, which police view as a useful tool, could be dangerous. Last month, 16 passengers were injured, four of them seriously, when a cop threw a spike strip in a bid to stop a kombi allegedly fleeing from a roadblock.

The device is placed across the roadway and deflates tyres when a car runs over it.

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