It is time to start asking some harsh questions regards the Botswana Police and what its purpose as a division of government is. This is not an attempt to undermine or disparage the good men and women that make up the police force. It is merely a look at how the police force as a whole and the system behind it operates and how it can be improved to combat the crime epidemic that is sweeping through our city.
Over the next several weeks we will shine a light on some of the questions and issues surrounding the system – a system that you will learn has long been in need of an overhaul.
The first question is what exactly is the purpose of the Botswana Police? Is it a force whose job it is to serve and protect the public – to pursue and bring criminals to justice? Or is it a neatly uniformed division of the the government whose job it is to hand out fines for speeding and other traffic infractions in order to bring in revenue…protecting the interests of the government and not the public?
The answer to this question is at the very core of problems plaguing the current system. Because the answer determines the entire structure of the Botswana Police. If their first priority is in fact to serve and protect the public then it will shine through in how their budget is constructed, how the officers are trained, and how manpower is used, how it communicates and is communicated with by the public.
When you examine these factors and others, sadly, the indications are not positive. Mostly the only time you see police officers is during the daytime at speed traps splashing out hefty fines. Not patrolling through neighborhoods at night trying to catch thieves.
When it comes to communication with the public the police do very little in the way of sending out warnings about current crime trends and scams to keep an eye out for. Usually the only time you hear from the police is when they want you to pay-up on a fine you owe them. And as far as communicating with them…well – question…Do you know the number of your closest sub-station?
Stay with us over the next few weeks as we sort through the pudding looking for proof of how the system really works and how it should be rebooted.