Police forces have raised concerns regarding a reported increase in banditry and violent crime in cities throughout Zimbabwe, including armed robberies and rape cases. The primary suspects are allegedly part of a gang of taxi drivers. While foreign nationals have not been specifically targeted, they are not exempt from the risk. Police forces are on high alert to identify and detain the assailants.
Crime rates in the country are generally low, but worsening economic conditions have contributed to rising crime levels in recent years. Foreigners may be specifically targeted due to their presumed wealth.
Individuals throughout Zimbabwe are advised to adhere to the following recommendations:
• Remain vigilant at all times while in public
• Minimize travel by foot
• Avoid going out after nightfall (when instances of assault and other violent crimes are more common)
• Maintain a low profile and avoid any conspicuous dress
• Whenever possible, travel with a local guide
• Be extremely vigilant at ATMs and when exiting banks
• As criminals are often armed, never offer resistance during an attempted robbery; obey all orders given, avoid eye contact and sudden movements, and do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible
• To avoid becoming an easy target, vary daily routes to reduce the predictability of your movements
• When driving, keep doors locked, windows rolled up, and all valuables out of plain sight; maintain sufficient space between you and the car ahead of you to allow for room to maneuver, keeping in mind that you are vulnerable when stuck in traffic
• If you believe you may be being followed, drive to a police station or other public facility, never home
• Park as close to your destination as possible when traveling by car, particularly after dark
• When possible, use a chauffeured car service; never use public transportation
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