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Commissioner's christmas message
Commissioner's christmas message

24/12/2009

 

1.        Preamble

Bagaetsho, we are a few days before the closure of the year 2009 and we are all looking forward to the Festive Season with a lot of enthusiasm. As we will be observing this important event on the Christian Calendar, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am aware that most of us will be travelling to various destinations to celebrate with friends and families.

 

2.     Unfortunately, this season is also characterised by various crimes, including fatalities on our roads. Each and every one of us should therefore, be accountable for their actions and decisions. I encourage all of us to be responsible and modest in celebrating and remembering the less fortunate and disadvantaged members of our society.  I know we are endowed with many blessings and we should be thankful.

 

3.   Crime

This season is synonymous with a rise in acts of criminality as statistics indicates that there is usually a rise in cases of house and store break-ins, stealing from persons and other akin incidents. As we approach this season we must be on the guard against these criminal elements.  May I also take this opportunity to advise everyone, especially business people, against keeping large sums of money in their homes and business premises.

 

4.    I would like to advise businesses to adopt a culture of depositing their hard earned cash regularly with banks in a bid to thwart robbery. This advice is triggered by an upsurge in the frequency of armed robberies, breaking into motor vehicles and home invasions targeting businesses and entrepreneurs. This often results in loss of large sums of money, injury or even loss of life.

 

 5.    Like all the past years, 2009 has been one of the challenging years for us as an organisation. The security landscape of our country is changing every day, exacerbated by amongst others, the influx of illegal and regular immigrants.

   

6.    This year was marked by some incidents in which explosives were used to blast safes at business premises. Though this crime is not new, my concern is the number of incidents in which explosives were used. The police are working day and night to find the source of these explosives to deal effectively with the situation.  I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to members of the public to help us with information that could assist us trace the source and supplier of these dangerous materials.

  

7.    Other challenges that faced the Police Service and the nation at large are the continued prevalence of violent and intrusive crimes, which sometimes result in the deaths of innocent people.

  

8.    Love-related murders continued to dominate the list of homicides recorded in this country. Between January and December 6th 2009, the police have dealt with 89 cases that ended the lives of 82 women and seven men.  Although there was an insignificant decline in rape cases, this offence remains a cause for concern, particularly in this era of HIV/AIDS.

 

9.    Another disturbing trend is the increase in theft of computers, laptops and cameras. This negative development is attributable to the availability of a ready market for stolen items. This market can be halted if Batswana refrain from buying suspected stolen goods, which are usually sold at give-away prices.  May I take this opportunity to advise Batswana to take a bold step by denying these criminals the market by refraining from buying goods from the streets.

 

10. Director of Ceremonies, crime is an unfortunate phenomenon in our society, and we all have a part to play in combating it.  It is the responsibility of all citizens and residents of this country to report crime and criminal activities. I urge you not to wait until someone close to you becomes a victim.  We must be our own guard and our neighbour’s keeper.  As we close the year, I wish to thank all agencies and departments both private and public, which have worked with the Police and enabled us to achieve our goals.

 

11.        Road Safety  

Road safety still remains a challenge in this country as many lives are lost in road traffic accidents.  From January to December 6th, 417 people were killed in road traffic accidents compared to 401 people killed last year during the same period.  Regrettably, most victims are the youth who are perishing in droves. I appeal to young drivers to demonstrate a culture of maturity, responsibility, patience and respect for other road users.  However, I want to congratulate the youth who have abandoned destructive behaviour and enrolled themselves in more positive activities.

 

12.        Community Policing

We have recently introduced a new philosophy of policing known as cluster policing. This is an improved version of our old crime prevention strategy and although new, it is proving to be effective. Our success is as a result of the support we get from members of the public.  It is against this backdrop that I urge the community to support our efforts in this regard. It is indeed a fact that the police alone cannot effectively police this vast country.

 

13. We will be implementing new and innovative methods of effectively dealing with crime during this festive season. The intention is to see a significant reduction in criminal activity by January 2010. This is not going to be easy but I am convinced that with the right attitude from us and support from the community, we will succeed.

  

14.        Complaints against the Police  

I am aware of several complaints from various quarters about the unprofessional behaviour of some of our officers. In our engagement with the suspects, particularly if those suspects are armed or believed to be, mortal injuries from either side cannot be ruled out. When this happens, thorough investigations are conducted and these extend beyond the confines of the Police Service.  Other structures involved in the process of investigations include the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, the Courts etc.

 

15. Where investigations prove a mistake was due to negligence, misbehaviour or unprofessionalism on the part of the officer involved, the law will take its course.

 

16. Bagaetsho, I am aware of allegations that in some instances, police officers apply underhand tactics like ill-treatment of suspects in the execution of their duties. I would like to categorically state that this is not the culture of the Police Service. In fact it is a criminal conduct and shall not be tolerated within this organisation. My promise to Batswana is that we will continue to address all allegations of police brutality without pampering any of our officers. We shall also continue to educate our officers to improve the way they handle the customers.

 

17.        Conclusion 

Let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank members of the public for their unwavering support of the Police Service. We achieved our successes to a large extent due to the involvement of the community in policing one way or the other. 

 

18. I also wish to express my appreciation to members of the media for maintaining the cordial relationship that has existed between the two parties over the years. I would like to thank them for the service that they have provided during the course of this year some of which included highlighting criminal activities that occur in our country for the benefit of the public.  The media has also helped us to detect cases that were reported by publishing names and pictures of people who are on the police wanted list.

  

19. I would like to sincerely pay gratitude to all members of the Police Service, for their support throughout this year. I look forward to their continued support in the New Year and beyond.

  

20. Let me also appreciate and recognise the support and sacrifices from the families of police officers.  May the Lord bless you all. To the entire Nation, I wish you a safe, peaceful, crime free festive season. I also wish you a prosperous 2010 with God’s richest blessings and guidance.

 

I thank you

 

                        PULA!!   PULA!!   PULA!!    PULA!!     

 

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