The newly appointed Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, is making a crackdown on increased crime in the country as part of his strategy during his term of office.
“I have taken over leadership of police service at a time when crime still remains a serious challenge,” said Makgophe. Statistics show that crimes, such as robbery, break ins, theft of motor vehicle, have recorded increases during the first half of the year as compared to the same period last year 2011.
“We will adopt zero tolerance to crime; if we can deal with the so-called minor offenses this will prevent major offences from happening,” he said.
Makgophe said another form of crime presenting a serious challenge to Botswana is transnational organized crime.
“This is a complex form of crime perpetuated by sophisticated criminal syndicates across borders,” he said.
In addition, he revealed that stock theft, especially incidents in which small stock is stolen in large numbers from kraals is worrisome. He, however, said despite capacity problems, police are not prepared to sit back and leave the problem unattended.
“I will intensify war against crimes, especially those that are violent and intrusive in nature, such as murder, robbery, rape and break-ins,” he said. Makgophe said if these offenses persist, they have the potential of affecting the economy and the image of the country in a negative way.
“The business community is targeted and is likely to scare away potential investors,” he said.
Makgophe acknowledged that customers have never been happy with police response time on crime scene.
Police officers have always cited the shortage transport as the main reason for failing to meet public expectations.
“This excuse cannot hold water any more, especially in areas where there are two or more police stations,” he said.
He added that patrol teams should respond immediately, irrespective of their policing administrative boundaries.
Makgophe pointed out that he is going to use all his powers to eradicate corruption amongst police officers who are involved in corruption as well as accepting bribes. He also stated that he cannot deny that officers have been enticed by materialistic items from the public.
The commissioner clarified his appointment as not being politically affiliated. “I do not belong to any political party, am not a politician and my appointment as the Commissioner is not even based on political affiliations,” he explained.
Makgophe said the decisions that he is going to take have to be for the interest of the nation.