14 May 2018

Botswana: Govt Commits to Cybercrime War

Gaborone — President Mokgweetsi Masisi says there is need to capacitate the police service to fight the increasingly growing complex cybercrimes, which continue to pose serious threat to domestic and global security.

Officiating at the Botswana Police Service (BPS) senior officers 46th annual conference yesterday, President Masisi said it was against such a backdrop that government would continue to review and amend all relevant statutes to enhance the ease of conducting business by the police.

He said good governance and national security had been identified as key developmental priorities to be pursued during National Development Plan 11 and Vision 2036, hence the need for diversity and multi-skilling of the BPS. "Government will offer the necessary support to ensure Botswana police delivers on its mandate," he said.

Challenges to the BPS, he said, included illegal narcotics, human trafficking, cybercrime, social media and abuses, complex white colour crimes, threat of terrorism thus the need for in-depth technical abilities and advancement in numerous areas in the police service.

Again, he indicated that the BPS was the guarantor of protecting basic rights, where people should be free to seek service with trust, which should be rendered effectively and efficiently.

Despite resource constraint, he said, the demand by Batswana on the BSP were constant and the BPS had over the years been able to balance constancy and predictability with adaptability and change even when faced with daunting challenges and complexities brought about by an increasingly globalised criminal environment.

He further highlighted the need to maintain law and order, which he said were necessary ingredients for national prosperity.

"Peace and stability and a crime-free environment are prerequisites for a sound competitive and a thriving economy," he added.

Further, he said BPS remained instrumental in ensuring the safety of Batswana as well as ensuring the enjoyment of basic human rights. For his part, BPS commissioner, Mr Keabetswe Makgophe said the event was an annual feature on their calendar for senior officers to retrospect and strategise.

Mr Makgophe stated that there had been a general reduction in major crimes over the years, and crime statistics for the year 2017 revealed an overall 3.3 per cent reduction.

"Out of this, serious and violent crimes such as break-ins, robbery, murder, rape, threat to kill , theft of motor vehicle, stock theft have gone down by 3.7 per cent from 14 224 cases recorded in 2016 to 13 704 in 2017," he said.

However, he said they had recorded an increase in house break-ins, murder and rape cases where a total of 315 people were murdered in 2017 as opposed to 305 in 2016, translating to three per cent increase.

Nonetheless, he said to effectively fight such crimes required a collective approach by the community, police, bogosi, churches and political leadership.

He also acknowledged government for its continued support of the BPS through enactment of appropriate legislation, human resources, facilities and infrastructure development, human resource complement, and investment in technology over the years, which he said made law enforcement possible.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi appreciated President Masisi for officiating at the five-day annual conference which he said would guide their strategic framework.

"Your message is going to impact our strategic direction and without your support we can never achieve effective law enforcement," he said. Mr Kgathi said even though the BPS was operating with limited resources, that would never impede the organisation from delivering policing services to the people.

Source : BOPA


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