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LRF trains Police in handling sensitive cases

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LRF trains Police in handling sensitive cases

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Ancilla Gotore
MIRROR REPORTER


MASVINGO–The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) is conducting a four-day training workshop with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) at Chevron, A Regency Group Hotel.
The workshop began on Monday and will end on Thursday.
Masvingo LRF senior program’s lawyer, Sharon Moffat, said the thrust of the workshop is to strengthen the VFU’s roles in justice delivery.
The VFU handles sensitive cases, including Gender-Based Violence (GBV), children’s rights, sexual abuse and child marriages.
Moffat said that previous training showed that most sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) perpetrators are acquitted owing to the limited legal capacity of Police Officers handling the cases.
VFU officers from the province’s seven districts attend the annual workshop to educate participants on the Police Act and the correct legal framework for handling the cases.
“LRF is conducting a training workshop for Police Officers from the VFU on the essential elements of sexual offences, gender-based violence, child rights, child sexual abuse, child marriages, the rights of accused persons as provided for in the Constitution and the management and preparation of dockets.
“The training revealed that most acquittals in sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) cases arise from limited legal capacity by Police Officers to handle the cases. This has led to the loss of confidence in the justice delivery system by victims of SGBV, negatively affecting reporting of cases,” said Moffat.
The LRF works with authorities and institutions such as the Police, The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to strengthen the justice system.
LRF also improves justice delivery in rural and marginalized areas through capacity building for traditional leaders and individuals by making them aware of how the customary law courts function and the rights of litigants in the courts.
Acting Masvingo Police Spokesperson Assistant Inspector Lorraine Ndlovu applauded LRF for the workshop as their members are equipped with new skills to improve law enforcement.
“As ZRP Masvingo Province, we appreciate LRF as our partner willing to train our Officers in the VFU. We are sure that by the end of the training, our members should be equipped in order to maintain a good corporate image through excellent work.
“Our Officers will gather information on how to handle victims. They would also understand court procedures. We look forward to being equipped with the requisite knowledge to effectively handle cases in the province to improve public confidence in law enforcement,” said Ndlovu.

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