Sefhophe — Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Mr Shaw Kgathi says police posts at Sefhophe and Tsetsebjwe will enhance police efforts to fight crime in the areas.
Mr Kgathi, who was officially handing over police posts at Sefhophe and Tsetsebjwe last week, said the two were among the 25 that were constructed countrywide to alleviate shortage of office space.
The two projects, built to the tune of P950 000 each, consists of three offices, consultation room, community service centre, ablution services and kitchenette.
Mr Kgathi noted that the world internal security and police index ranked Botswana Police Service number one in Africa, and he commended the Commissioner of Police, Mr Keabetswe Makgophe and the entire police service for a sterling.
He said police posts were part of the community policing strategy meant to help bring police services closer to communities.
Mr Kgathi, who is also MP for Bobonong, urged the communities of Sefhophe and Tsetsebjwe to support the police in their efforts to fight crime.
He said members of the community were reluctant to help the police with information that could lead to the arrest of perpetrators, hence it took longer to investigate cases.
In order to facilitate the work of the police and other players in crime prevention, he said his ministry has been engaged in the process of reviewing and enacting legislation to deter criminality and curtail emerging crime trends.
Such legislation, he said, included the penal code which was amended to align it with the Children's Act, and raising the legal age of consent for sex from 16 to 18 with the aim to address incidences of defilement and abuse of children, abduction, indecent assault and kidnapping of children.
The act, he said, also addressed concerns of the public that laws were not deterrent enough thereby introducing stiffer fines and penalties particularly for murder, rape and manslaughter.
He said the act also encouraged uniformity in sentencing by introducing minimum mandatory sentences.
In addition, he said proceeds and instruments of crime act was passed by Parliament in 2014 to make provision for seizing proceeds and instruments of crime which may be movable and immovable property.
The act commenced in 2015 and is being implemented by the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security through the Office of the Receiver which is an office mandated by Parliament to receive proceeds and instruments of crime.
Mr Kgathi said all these efforts could bear fruit if the community joined hands with the police to fight crime.
For his part, Commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe urged the communities of Sefhophe and Tsetsebjwe to support the police in their efforts to bring services closer to them.
He said the police posts were meant to increase police presence amongst communities while at the same time bridging the distance between police stations and communities. He said it was also meant to improve police response times.
Mr Makgophe thanked Minister Kgathi for doing his best to request budget for the construction of the 25 police posts countrywide.
He said although the projects were not delivered on time and on budget due to procurement of material from outside the country, it was impressive for the police to have finally achieved the goal.
In addition, he commended Sefhophe and Tsetsebjwe for low crime statistics, saying it showed the communities commitment to crime prevention initiatives.
However, he raised concern over high cases of assault, saying if left unaddressed, the issues would result in serious crime such as murder and rape.
The police chief said the police and the nation were worried about escalating murder incidents, especially those involving couples.
He urged the community to seek help from the police and other relevant stakeholders when they faced challenges in their relationships.
Mr Makgophe also took the opportunity to thank tribal administration for having accommodated the police since the merger of Botswana Police Service and Local Police.
Former vice president, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe thanked the police for the initiative, saying it would not only enhance security but would also go a long to protect democracy in the country.
He said the nation should pride itself with the police rankings, adding that it showed the level of discipline in the police.
He urged the community to abide by the law as the law provided security and enhanced peace amongst people.
Source : BOPA