The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi says government is in the process amending the Penal Code, and the Criminal Proceedings and Evidence Act in response to new forms of crime.
Kgathi said this recently at the ongoing 45th Botswana Police Senior Officers Annual Conference held at Special Support Group (SSG) Band Hall. The conference ends today.
Kgathi said these reforms are occasioned among others, by the new security related acts passed in 2014, and also in response to the increasing domestic and sexual violence acts against women, children, boys and girls such as rape, incest and defilement.
He said the ability to reduce crime is one of the consideration used by the global rating authorities in measuring good governance, peace, safety and public security. The minister stated that these factors include the rule of law, police visibility, achievement of quality life, and economic growth among others.
He cited emerging global security challenges such as terrorism, money laundering, human-trafficking, illicit use of drugs and cyber-crime as catalysts for new strategies in modern policing.
Kgathi called on the police to reflect and to interrogate lessons learnt from their current and past performance indicators on the delivery of their core mandate.
“I further urge you to reflect on your role in community policing and other pertinent issues such as border patrols, anti poaching and disaster management. This reflection will be crucial in the development of high impact policing strategies and programmes,” Kgathi said.
He said in this context the police have to come up with effective strategies for project implementation, maintenance of facilities, enhanced implementation of Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) and local procurement.
Kgathi was hopeful that
“I believe such identified challenges will be shared, and cascaded to the appropriate levels and in the context of your appropriate structures,” Kgathi said.
When addressing community feedback, Kgathi said Batswana at large do appreciate the police’s efforts in ensuring their safety, and that of their properties. He said the feedback should inspire them to maintain the same level of commitment, resilience and selflessness in executing their mandate.
Kgathi said however there has been not so positive feedback in relation to the police’s performance such as the need to further reduce their response time, inadequate use of technology and the unacceptable individual behaviours.
He said such behaviours are often reported at the level of interface between the suspects and victims, members of the public and the police.
Kgathi said the misalignment of individual behaviour to the organisational objectives could manifest itself into degradation of discipline and lack of respect of leadership.
“This can lead to a serious infraction of the command and control systems existing within Botswana Police Service,” Kgathi said.
He also revealed that government is also in the process of reviewing the Stock Theft Act to facilitate confiscation of tools, equipment and vehicles used in stock theft.