Protect police image

Botswana Police Service (BPS) have of late been dominating news headlines, but for the wrong reasons.

In the past week, the BPS bosses were in the dock at the High Court facing the family of Olefile Momphitlhi, who went missing while in police custody. There is still no clear indication on whether the man escaped from the police, as the police claim, or he was killed, as the family suspects.

Another interesting aspect is that during the search for Momphitlhi, the police say, they were taken to a shallow grave, the contents of which turned out not to be Momphitlhi’s body, but someone else’s.  Of who, they don’t say. A scary thought. We hope that our bushes are not littered with shallow graves of unidentified victims.

BPS has also faced more families instituting legal proceedings against the institution on claims of torture and abuse, which resulted in serious injuries.


It must be said that we appreciate the dangers that these men and women have to risk to protect this nation, and our property. They spend sleepless nights making sure that we are safe and keeping away intruders who may try to take advantage of our sleep to break into our houses. They also ensure that all of us are safe on our roads and that unwanted elements are kept away from the steering wheel.

What is disturbing, however, are the overzealous elements in the police force, who get excited at a slight instance of provocation. Some of them, once clothed in that blue uniform, seem to switch off their being human, and start behaving like machines. They refuse to accept that fellow humans out there are capable of making mistakes, and they prioritise fines and imprisonment.

Some of them use excessive force when they arrest individuals, something which has resulted in suspects sustaining injuries. Some of them do not even listen to the suspects and just lock them behind bars just to humiliate them.

It is against this background that we call on authorities at BPS to regularly introspect and keep an eye on their juniors who may seem excitable at events that have an element requiring police intervention.

It is our humble request that they exercise due care when executing their duties. We also appreciate that Botswana Police College is an institution of high reputation and has trained students from abroad, therefore, there is no doubt about their curriculum and the graduates they produce.

We hope that incidents of suspects disappearing in police custody have found place in the Commissioner’s list of priorities and he is doing something before such tarnish the good image they worked so hard to build.

Today’s thought

“When you have police officers who abuse citizens, you erode public confidence in law enforcement. That makes the job of

good police officers unsafe.”

 

 - Mary Frances Berry

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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