The festive season is upon us and so has the countdown to the year 2018 already begun. The Botswana Police Service has also launched its 60 Days of Action on Crime and Road Safety to sensitise the public about the importance of safety and good road manners, amongst others.
When launching the two months of action, Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe stated that the police are ready to shoot whoever makes attempts to rob individuals and businesses using forceful and dangerous means such as the use of guns, toy guns and knives.
The commissioner’s threats come against the backdrop of a spike in violent crimes and robberies where guns are used.
The year 2017 has witnessed a serious increase in such crimes with most perpetrators being youth in the age bracket of 20- to 35-years, who target retail stores for quick cash.
This is the time when robbers are trying to collect money to travel home where they probably last set foot six months ago or at the last festive season.
Others are trying to collect money to travel home to neighbouring countries where their families and relatives expect them to bring home something worth celebrating. Statistically crime levels go up around this time of the year and 2017 has already registered such high numbers of varying related crimes.
Some of the criminals generally rage against their disappointments in life and would do anything to quell their unquenchable greed and anger even if it means robbing and killing others for pleasure or selfish means.
It is therefore crucial for members of the public to try all to protect themselves from criminals by avoiding going around carrying large sums of cash; ensuring that their valuable belongings such as cellphones are kept hidden from criminals. It is also crucial for women in particular to avoid walking long distances alone at night.
Police visibility on our roads has also proven to be a deterrent for overzealous motorists who have turned public roads into stunt grounds and racing tracks.
Major highways such as A1, B10 and Trans Kalahari have become death zones because of careless driving oft at the expense of other road users.
Such drivers often prefer to ignore road signs, speed limits and overtake dangerously despite clear warning against doing so.
We hope that all will take precaution not to fall victim to any crime or end other lives on the roads. We also appeal to the police not to become trigger-happy to shoot at the slightest provocation when they should have engaged the suspects professionally.
We are all concerned at the high rate of crime but should all be cautious not to allow this concern to result in unnecessary loss of life.
“No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family.”
- J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI 1924–72