By Anna Shilongo
A four-week course on crime prevention and community policing is underway in the capital.
The course is being attended by 26 law enforcement officers drawn from the 13 regions, public relations and liaison division from the Special Field Force as well as from Patrick Iyambo Police College and is facilitated by four officers from Botswana Police Service (BPS.
Community policing aims at achieving more effective and efficient crime control, improving police services and police legitimacy through a proactive reliance on community resources.
It is a strategy and philosophy based on the notion that community interaction and support can help to control crime.
The idea is to create bonds of trust and reliance between the police and the public.
As a result, the approach requires officers to be open minded, unbiased and sensitive to the concerns and problems of others.
“There is no country which can claim to have the best knowledge and experience in crime prevention and community policing. The concept can only be shared and they differ from country to country according to policing styles and relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” said the High Commissioner of Botswana to Namibia Norman Moleboge.
“However, there are common trends which can be followed universally hence the presence of the Botswana police service officers here today to share on those common aspects,” said Moleboge who previously served as the Commissioner of the Botswana Police Service before he was accredited to Namibia.
Moleboge also took time to explain the advent of community policing in his country.
“One of the pillars of the vision requires that by 2016, Botswana shall be a safe and secure nation. This vision placed enormous challenges on BPS to create an organisational vision to align its activities to the national one,” he said.
He believes crime is not only a police problem but also a community problem.
“Therefore, long-term effective solutions require involvement by all stakeholders,” he said.
However, efforts to maintain formidable partnerships in this sphere need to be governed by equitable distribution of power, trust and involvement of local governance at local level, he said.
He urged officers to be hard at work, especially when carrying out investigations.
He is of the opinion that if cases are well investigated, they will “respond efficiently to the Prosecutor-General’s call”.
Beginning of this year, the Prosecutor-General raised concern over some cases that were taking too long to finalise, urging investigators to speed up cases.
Also speaking at the inauguration, Deputy Inspector-General for Administration, Major General James Tjivikua, applauded the Botswana police service for having responded positively to the request to train their members in the area of crime-prevention and community policing.
Tjivikua assured that the Namibian Police wants to train its members in accordance with SARPCCO standards.
“Hence it is of utmost importance to share the knowledge and experience from our brothers and sisters from Botswana police service,” he said.
Tjivikua noted that in the past, the delivery of police service was accomplished in a reactive and unscientific manner, with little attention given to proactive policing.
“Today, the efficient delivery of police service requires a systematic process to assess the needs of the public and translate these needs into police service that can be efficiently and effectively delivered to the community,” stressed Tjivikua.
It is obvious that the police face problems in combating organised crime in the country without public help, he added.
“Thus, a complete and strategic community policing is needed to enhance a better policing strategy with the public being the eye and ears of the police in combating crimes,” said Tjivikua.
He is hopeful that the Botswana police service will impart the necessary knowledge and skills during the training course, urging participants to concentrate and tap on the knowledge and skills of their visitors.
He said it is only through dedication and hard work that participants will be able to complete the training course successfully.
The training started on March 31 and ends on April 25.