The escalating rate of crime in the country has reached a point of alarm for Government.
The Minister responsible for the police, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, has ordered the Commissioner of Police to decelerate crime or get the chop for failure to perform.
Information passed to The Sunday Standard by authoritative sources indicates that the Minister of Defense, Justice and Security is also said to have put it in black and white, that the Police must adopt up-to-date, state of the art technology to enhance their capabilities.
Answering for his senior, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Kenny Kapinga, had this to say, “Personally, I am not aware of any specific instructions or letter equivalent to an ultimatum from the Minister to the effect that the Commissioner’s head may be on the line.”
When asked to discount the possible existence of such a letter, he responded thus, “It is generally known, and has been categorically pronounced at the advent of the new regime that those who do not perform will be sanctioned.”
Kapinga, who is the custodian of the Service’s crime reduction strategy, further stated that as far as he is aware, the Minister, on assumption of office in the new Ministry, did convey his concerns and expressed what he wanted done.
Some of the things that the Minister has instructed the Police to do include the installation of the CCTVs in open public spaces in order to help the Police identify and track criminals, intensification of public education on the anatomy of criminal behaviour and how the public can support the law enforcement authorities in their daily operations, to prevent or fight crime.
According to Kapinga, the problem of the escalating rate of crime should be looked at from the point of view of the effectiveness of the whole criminal justice system and not just the Police. “Criminals must be prosecuted, and put behind bars.”
The output of the criminal justice system can be measured for instance, in terms of the swiftness with which cases are taken through the courts.
“Unfortunately this is not happening,” Kapinga said.
He did concede, however, that the police were having a difficult time in keeping in check the increase in burglaries and armed robberies in the country.