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Police officers entitled to possess guns

23 Feb 2014

Any police officer, despite his/her rank, is entitled to possess a firearm if it is necessary.

This was revealed by the Commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe when addressing the media at the end of a week-long 42nd senior police conference in Gaborone on Friday, February 21 . 

He said all police officers are trained in the use of firearms and that it should not be surprising to see them carrying firearms when they are on duty.

Mr Makgophe explained, however, that because the Botswana Police Service is not a force, police officers only take guns when attending incidents in which they expect to be confronted by armed criminals. 

He further explained that though the mandate of police officers is to protect the lives and properties of Batswana, they also have a duty to protect themselves, which is why they are sometimes forced to protect themselves when confronted criminals become a threat to their lives.

Nonetheless, he assured   the nation that the police will do their best to protect them.

He said most of the decisions are taken by police officers on ground because they are being threatened.

On other issues, the Commissioner rubbished accusations by certain media houses that they have a grudge against the Kalafatis family. 

He said investigations into the matter in which one of the family members Costa was wounded by the police, are still active and a report will be issued in due course. 

Meanwhile, the conference acknowledged with serious concern the increasing incidents of crime in Botswana and adopted eight  resolutions amongst them, to increase the deployment of adequate resourced rapid response teams, increase focused and interactive police visibility, and rollout bicycle patrols to other strategic areas. 

Other resolutions include the intensification of focused public education on crime and at the same time acknowledging as well the increasing incidences regarding Gender Based Violence against women and children.

The conference also noted with concern disturbing crime trends in Gaborone, Mogoditshane and surrounding areas, which contributes significantly to the national crime statistics and resolved to apply a zero tolerance to all forms of crime.

The conference further resolved to increase personnel, transport and other support resources and strengthen partnerships with all stakeholders with a view to curb crime.

Other important resolutions include investigations of stock theft cases, the continued loss of lives through road accidents. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : GABORONE

Event : Press Conference

Date : 23 Feb 2014