The Botswana Police Service (BPS) commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe has expressed concern over the performance of non-core duties that hinders the police from performing their core functions.
Speaking at the ongoing 45th Botswana Police Senior Office Annual Conference held at Special Support Group (SSG) Band Hall Makgophe revealed that their human resource has been affected by the performance of non-core duties.
These Makgophe said, are prosecution of cases at both magistrate and customary courts and facilitation of traffic flow at traffic lights.
Makgophe pleaded for the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi’s intervention in this regard to allow for police to focus more on their core duties and functions.
“As the police we spend most of our time using our resources in some duties not within our core mandate, something that is impacting negatively on our human resources. Such duties are not budgeted for us when funds are allocated,” Makgophe said.
He went on to say the coming into effect of the Proceeds and Instruments of Crimes Act, Anti Human Trafficking Act, Counter Terrorism Act are a welcome development.
“This will go a long way in facilitating the effective investigation and detection of such serious crimes as money laundering, terrorism financing, cybercrime to mention but a few. This unfortunately comes with added resource demands that have not been provided for in our allocations,” Makgophe said.
“We will, however, do everything in our power to deliver on this requirement in spite of the challenges I have alluded to. We are at an advanced stage of developing our new six-year Corporate Development Strategy in line with Vision 2036 and National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11) commitments and aspirations,” Makgophe said.
When giving a brief overview of BPS’ performance for the year 2016, Makgophe said he has observed that crime in Botswana is still relatively under control.
He said that there is a reduction in violent, intrusive and serious crimes, which are a major threat to the safety and security of communities.
Makgophe said violent and intrusive crimes such as house breaking, burglary, store breaking and robbery have recorded a three percent overall reduction in 2016 as compared to 2015. He said armed robbery on its own has gone down significantly by 12% as a result of their concerted effort to bring it down.
He said serious crimes such as thefts of motor vehicles, rapes, stockthefts and threats-to-kill went down by an overall four percent.
Makgophe said of great concern is the offence of murder, which has gone up by 10% from 278 cases in 2015 to 305 in 2016.
He said most of these murders occurred at cattle-posts and drinking places and are mostly as a result of conflicts arising from amongst others intimate relationships.
“Of late we have observed a development where parents brutally murder their innocents to an extent of beheading them. This is a sign of deep-rooted societal problems, which demand a concerted effort from all stakeholders in order to curb this senseless loss of human life,” Makgophe said.
He said the issue of Gender-Based Violence has a direct correlation with the growth of murder cases.
Makgophe said the increased consumption or use of drugs especially dagga, cocaine and methcatinone by mostly the young population is also a concern. He said a total of 1,053.4 kg of dagga was seized, resulting in 915 arrests in 2016 as compared to 253.6 kg and 777 arrests in 2015.