20 September 2017

Botswana: Police Crashes Concern

Palapye — urity, Mr Shaw Kgathi has raised a concern over the number of government vehicles involved in road accidents caused by the police.

Addressing North Central Division police officers on Monday, Mr Kgathi informed the police officers that his ministry recorded a total of 205 police vehicles involved in car accidents from January to August, adding, 'these are boarded or non-functional'.

"For two years I have been recording the highest number of accidents from the police," he said.

He said availability of transport was crucial to enable the police to do their day to day job of protecting lives and property.

He said government was doing its best to provide the police with vehicles, but the effort was thwarted by police officers who got involved in car accidents as a result of reckless driving, adding that some of them did not report the accidents, which is a traffic offence.

He said District No.3 and District No.13 recorded the highest number of vehicles involved in accidents, standing at 24 and 23 respectively.

"You cannot expect the community to uphold the law while you as custodians of the law do otherwise," he said.

He implored the police management to look into this matter and take action against those who abuse government vehicles.

Mr Kgathi, who is also the MP for Bobonong, acknowledged the condition and circumstances the police work under, but said that did not mean that they should not abide by the law.

He said the police were extra ordinary citizens whom the government had, by law, empowered to protect the nation's life and property, to apprehend offenders, prevent and detect crime as well as to maintain security and tranquillity.

He said the police had been doing well, hence should not reverse the trust that the public had on them by causing accidents.

Further, Mr Kgathi informed them about the amendments he had proposed on the Penal Code, Police Act, Stock Theft, Cyber and Arms and Ammunition bills.

He informed the police that he was amending these acts to empower the police to carry out their duties diligently without any hiccups.

He informed them that they would be wholly governed by the Police Act, adding, 'we cannot always be referencing with the Public Service Act, especially on issues of recruitment of civilian staff and other issues'.

"I hope cabinet will approve this and take it to parliament as early as possible."

He urged the police to update themselves with these amendments once they are approved so that they do not get to see crime happening without knowing that it is an offence.

Source : BOPA

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