Botswana Police Service
Six people died and 39 sustained serious injuries in separate road accidents during the Easter holidays. The number of accident casualties declined compared to 13 deaths and 61 serious injuries recorded in the same period last year. The police also charged 1313 motorists for over speeding, 353 drivers for driving without drivers licence, 95 for careless driving and 102 for drunken driving. The police also recorded two (2) murders, nine (9) threats to kill, 40 rape, 72 burglary and theft, 59 house breaking and theft, 41 robbery, and 23 store breaking and theft cases. In one incident of store breaking and theft that occurred on the 08/04/12 in Gaborone, criminals broke into a shop at Maruapula Shopping Complex and got away with cash, Curtains, clothing, DVDs valued more than P26, 000.00 In another incident of store breaking that occurred at Mahalapye Prison on 08/04/12, criminals broke into the Prison workshop stole workshop equipment such as inventor, grinder, outfit combine, pipe wrencher valued more than P4, 000.00. No one has been arrested in connection with the two cases and police investigations are continuing. Meanwhile Botswana Police Service would like to thank members of the public, especially motorists for their cooperation at police road blocks and at other police operations.
Members of the Botswana Society for the Deaf have called upon Botswana Police Service to consider training police officers on sign language to be able to effectively assist the hearing impaired members of the community to access police services. Speaking at the Information and Education Expo for the Deaf, yesterday (4/4/12) at Ramotswa, hearing impaired participants complained that Botswana Police Service was not doing anything to ensure that when they report cases at police stations they are appropriately assisted. They said it was difficult for them to report cases as police officers who are supposed to handle their cases are always unable to understand them. They said police officers should be trained on sign language to interpret their messages when they report cases. They further asked that sign language be used on the police weekly television programme, Itshireletse, to understand the message that the program carries. Responding to complaints from the hearing impaired, the Botswana Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube said even though Botswana Police has not started programmes targeted at the hearing impaired, efforts are being made to ensure that people in general are informed and educated on crime and crime prevention. He said broadcast programmes such as Itshireletse television programme and Crime File radio programme including publications such as Police Magazine, and annual reports are intended to provide information and education to everyone, including the deaf. He said the deaf were equally affected by intrusive crimes such as robberies, break-ins and sexual offences, saying it was critical that they regularly receive crime messages and tips to be informed and educated. He said efforts are being made to ensure introduction of sign language at police stations, saying they have already sent some police officers for training on sign languages. He said plans are also underway to use sign language during Itshireletse television programme broadcast and said other possible solutions to be explored include infusing crime prevention materials into the Botswana Society for the Deaf curriculum.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako has raised his concern about the rising level of crime in Mogoditshane. Addressing residents of Mogoditshane recently, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako said that crime has been increasing in the village. He stated that statistics indicate that penal code offences, which include break-ins, robberies, rape among others have increased from 4533 in the year 2005 to 7814 last year. Mr Tsimako said Mogoditshane, as a semi-urban area and its closeness to the city, attracts a large number of people who come in search of greener pastures some of who end up engaging in crime. He cited alcohol abuse as one of the causes of crime in the area. He advised residents of Mogoditshane to desist from harbouring and hiring illegal immigrants, saying that doing so is an offence on itself. He added that some illegal immigrants end up being involved in crime. He further urged the residents to work with the police through neighbourhood watch schemes and clusters to bring down the level of crime in their area. He said that a high level of crime could scare away potential investors to the village. For their part the residents asked the police to work with the bye-law enforcement officers to raid business as some of them are operating without trade licenses. They said that such businesses including legitimate ones have become centres of illegal activities, such as drug trafficking and other crimes, hence a need for Police investigations.
The Zambian government delegation have been in Botswana recently on a five-day benchmarking mission to familiarise themselves with processes and systems used by Botswana government to collect non-tax revenue from various government departments. They were more interested in how Botswana evades human contact with cash during collection processes. Among others, the delegation visited Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Botswana Police Service and the Department of Road Transport and Safety, before heading to South Africa. The delegation comprising officials from Zambian Ministry of Finance, Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency visited the Botswana Police Service on the 6th and 7th of March 2012 and were taken through revenue collection processes by the Director of Finance, Development and procurement, Senior Assistant Commissioner Pester Gabolekwe and Director of Traffic Senior Assistant Commissioner Victor Paledi. They were also taken on a conducted tour of Ramotswa Police and Police College.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako has expressed concern about the increasing incidents of poaching in the Chobe area. Officially opening a two day Airborne Policing External Stakeholders Conference organised by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) Air Support Branch in Kasane recently, Mr Tsimako said incidents of poaching in Chobe are disturbing and cannot be ignored any longer. He challenged the Conference to come up with concrete ideas and solutions on how best to protect species that are quickly diminishing. The Commissioner said the BPS Air Support Branch, amongst its duties plays an important role in eliminating incidents of poaching and even tracks criminals who poach animals in the Chobe area. He added that the Conference was organised to give the relevant stakeholders in the aviation industry an opportunity to deliberate, share experiences and be able to strategise better. Still at the Conference, Mr Tsimako embraced the participation of stakeholders in the development of crime fighting strategies that enhanced police operations. He said it is only through planning together that the stakeholders could harmonise different skills and knowledge in order to produce realistic operating procedures that could bear fruits. The Conference which was attended by officers from the Botswana Defence Force, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana and a representative from the Ministry of Transport and Communications was meant to appraise external stakeholders on the successes and challenges faced by the BPS Air Support Branch on its normal operation assignments as well as incidents of poaching which are prevalent in the Chobe area. The Commissioner further said since the Conference brought together all stakeholders who play an important role in facilitating the delivery of airborne law enforcement in the country, there is need for them to develop short and long term strategies of how to deal with the current challenges especially poaching which is prevalent in the Chobe area. Mr Tsimako added that the Stakeholders participation is also emphasised in the BPS Corporate Development Strategy (2009 to 2016) which seeks to involve relevant stakeholders in the identification of crime prevention strategies that would mitigate threats posed by increasing crime levels. In her welcome remarks, the Divisional Commander North, Senior Assistant Commissioner Dinah Marathe said poaching has developed over the years from minor transgressions to become a lucrative business which now present a challenge to the Botswana Police and relevant stakeholders. Senior Assistant Commissioner Marathe illustrated the challenge of poaching by indicating that from January 2011 to February 2012, 49 incidents of poaching were recorded in Kasane and surrounding areas and 44 suspects being Batswana and foreigners were brought before the courts of law. She also indicated that 48 Elephants’ tusks were recovered during the same period.
Police clusters have been encouraged to learn from each other to improve their knowledge on crime prevention. Speaking to cluster members in Tshesebe recently the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Ramadeluka Seretse commended them for having managed to reduce crime in their village. He said that their selfless volunteerism has resulted in them being recognized as one of the best performing clusters in the country. He however said that such an achievement comes with the responsibility of helping other clusters to do likewise and added that this could only be done through exchange programs. Mr Seretse stated that his ministry is still looking into ways in which it can help facilitate such programs and asked clusters to aid them with the process. Minister Seretse also raised concern at people who want to be paid for their volunteerism services saying some people have since backed down from crime prevention clusters because they want to be paid for fighting crime like police volunteers. He said volunteerism should be a patriotic act and asked more individuals and the business community to join hands with the police. For his part the Commissioner of Police, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako stated that the second national cluster policing awards will be held soon. He urged clusters that will be attending not to see the event as competition but a chance to meet and share ideas on how to make streets safer from criminals.
The French Embassy has honoured the Commissioner of Police Mr Thebeyame Tsimako for his contribution to public safety and law enforcement in this country. Bestowing the Commissioner of Police with the Insignia of the National Order of Merit recently in Gaborone, the French Ambassador to Botswana, Her Excellency Mrs Geneviève Iancu, said the honour celebrates noble efforts accomplished by distinguished individuals, irrespective of their gender, social background or nationality. The French Ambassador said that her country saw it fit to honour Mr Tsimako as he has displayed such efforts through his devotion to the security of his fellow citizens during his 42 years of service as a police officer. Mrs Iancu commended the Commissioner for his supportive role in ensuring smooth cooperation between the Botswana and French policing services. For his part, Mr Tsimako expressed gratitude to the French nation for the honour and its contribution to law enforcement in the country. He said that since 2004 Botswana Police continues to benefit from France’s expertise in policing. He cited among others the Intervention Skills and the French Joint Peacekeeping Training as some of expertise that have not only benefited Botswana Police Service but also other law enforcement nine Southern African countries since its inception in 2008. He further said that the French Government has also offered exchange programmes to local police pilots to ensure that they comply with international police flying standards. Commissioner Tsimako joins a few other beneficiaries of the honour among them the former President His Excellency Festus Mogae and former High Court Judge, Ms Unity Dow, who were also present at the ceremony.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Support Services, Mr Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi has urged young people to guard against falling for a life of crime. Speaking at a prize giving ceremony at Gaborone International School in Gaborone last week, Mr Bagopi said that criminality can manifest itself in a person’s life at a tender age through the display of unacceptable traits such as bullying, petty theft, vandalism, indiscipline and other forms of delinquent behaviour. He implored the students to avoid such behaviour as it usually leads to serious crimes. He stressed that the Botswana Police is concerned about the large number of young people getting involved in crime and urged the students to reverse the situation. He reminded them that they are future leaders and urged them to start creating better living conditions than their parents saying this could be possible if they take their studies seriously. The Deputy Commissioner also urged parents to take an active role in their children’s education and ensure that they don’t keep a bad company of friends so that they don’t get derailed into destructive behaviour. For his part the School Principal, Mr Dave de Graaff also urged the students to take their studies serious to fulfil the Vision 2016 Pillar of an informed and educated nation. Mr de Graaff further said that their school is not only committed to providing the best education but that it also encourages values such as botho and integrity in its students to make them responsible citizens.
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