Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

9 July 2004

Botswana: Police to Employ Special Constables

THE Botswana Police Service will next month employ 160 special constables. According to a press statement from Police Commissioner, Edwin Batshu, the decision is in response to the escalating crime and the shortage of police officers to effectively and efficiently perform police duties.

"The main duties of the special constables will be, among others, to implement community policing strategies, plan and patrol beats, preserve scenes of crime, carry out arrests, effectively conduct searches and seize property in accordance with the law," the statement says.

The statement further points out that the special constables will wear uniform with a distinct armband identifying them as such.

"It is worth noting that the recruitment of special constables is primarily a voluntary exercise, and the accompanying remuneration - for all intents and purposes - will be paid in recognition of that," the statement said.

Though government has approved 500 vacancies for special constables, the programme will be piloted, beginning with the recruitment and training of 160 constables to police Mochudi, Molepolole, Kanye, Mahalapye, Palapye, Serowe, Kasane and Maun. Each village will be allocated 20 officers. Batshu's statement says that they intend to roll out the programme to other areas over time.

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