TONOTA: Botswana Police Service (BPS) commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe has stated that police around the country have since January this year recorded a total of 1,700 and 600 cases of rape and defilement respectively.
Makgophe revealed this during the launch of the ‘60 Days of Action on Crime and Road Safety’ at the village’s main Kgotla.
In his address, the police commissioner said most of the victims of rape were young girls who were still under the age of 16.
He highlighted that in a majority of the rape and defilement cases, protection was not used, hence transmitting infections such as HIV/AIDS.
The police chief further said most defilement cases were swept under the carpet.
He attributed the lack of reporting of defilement cases to the close relationship between parents of the victims and perpetrators.
For this reason, he encouraged parents and members of the community to report the cases regardless of the relationship with the perpetrators, so that they (perpetrators) can be punished accordingly.
“We should not protect the people who destroy the future of our children,” Makgophe said.
In another revelation the police commissioner expressed worry about what he viewed as escalating instances where women who were victims of domestic violence withdrew cases against their partners.
He noted that such conduct fueled domestic violence cases.
He said in fact on a number of occasions those who withdrew the charges ended up being killed by those partners (whom they were trying to protect from prosecution by withdrawing the charges).
A worried Makgophe said women have ignored pleas from police that they should cease from protecting their abusers.
Makgophe also stated they were advocating for the law to change so that women who withdraw cases will be charged because they would have wasted the police’s time and resources (by reporting and withdrawing the) cases.
“We are advocating for review of the law. We want those who withdraw cases of abuse to be charged,” he said.