The Botswana Police Service is planning to set up a National Intervention Unit under the Special Support Group (SSG) to enhance the techniques and tactics used to manage violent situations by dangerous criminals.
Officially closing a two-week Rapid Intervention Training Course this week at the Botswana Police College, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Support Services) Thebeyame Tsimako said the course was run with the help of French government to facilitate establishment of a national intervention unit.
He said the envisaged Unit will enhance the mandate of the SSG as a Para military unit of the Botswana Police Service to efficiently support operational units and intervene in the emergence of public disturbances.
He further said the rapid intervention training came at an opportune time when preparations for the 2010 World Cup are gaining momentum. Tsimako says the games may pose a security threat, not only to Botswana, but the rest of the Southern Africa region and as such the training may form part of the regional intervention strategy.
He said exposing police officers to the necessary training could empower them to face policing challenges in a more systematic and professional manner, through the application of acquired skills and knowledge.
He thanked the French government for the individual technical support it has consistently accorded the Botswana Police Service in the area of human resource development, saying the service has benefited from different training initiatives sponsored by the French government that included, public order training, training of trainers and hostage negotiation training.
French Ambassador to Botswana, Jean-Pierre Courtois said the course was intended to provide police officers with skills of handling violent situations while maintaining respect for opponents. He said it is also aimed at helping officers avoid loss of lives or injuries to opponents during the use of techniques and tactics.
He assured the Botswana Police Service that France would continue with their partnership and that before December, France would have conducted other courses including hi- jacking and hostage negotiations as a way of ensuring that Botswana Police Service has a full capacity national intervention unit.
The Rapid Intervention Training Course was attended by 19 participants from the Special Support Group.