Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Statement by the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security at a Launch of Policing with the Community

source: Republic of Botswana (28/2/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 3 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”

B6) 19/2/09: Statement by the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security at a Launch of Policing with the Community.

[Salutations]…Ladies and Gentlemen

1. It gives me great pleasure to be part of this important event in the history of our country’s Community Policing programme. The launch of the Grand Palm “Policing with the Community” is an important milestone in the realization of the cluster policing concept which my Ministry introduced to curb crime in our communities.

2. Peermont’s Grand Palm Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort in Gaborone has offered its support to the Government of Botswana’s efforts to address challenges brought about by crime by donating two branded porta cabins for use in Blocks 5 and 6. The Porta cabins will help bring the services closer to the affected communities enabling the police to react effectively to calls for police assistance.

3. This initiative comes as an answer to my call for community assistance to the police in the fight against crime by forming policing clusters to deal directly with crime in the communities. The Porta Cabins, which will be manned by both members of the community and police officers, shall act as Satellite Police Stations to provide convenience in service delivery.

4. The Botswana Police Service will provide communication equipment and other office supplies and amenities. The Government sees this project as a value adding social responsibility venture aimed at contributing towards the upliftment of local communities within their surroundings. This is greatly appreciated.

5. The concept of community policing by cluster encourages local communities to identify crime that needs attention and together with the police develop efficient strategies to deal with them. Thank you to community leaders from Blocks 5 and 6 you have been very supportive of this project by securing land and other resources to ensure that it becomes a reality.

6. When I took office in April 2008 as the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, I took it upon myself to pioneer policing concept called cluster policing. The idea was to re-enforce existing Community Policing efforts already pursued by the Botswana Police Service. I am glad to say the support by the business community has been humbling indeed. Our gathering this evening is a testimony of this support. For the police, this is in line with the organization’s vision of providing a community style of policing that emphasizes community involvement as a central tenet. The project will empower local communities to play an active role in determining policing priorities in their areas.

7. We are delighted that Peermont’s Grand Palm Hotel has responded generously to our call in the fight against crime, pioneering the number of businesses and other sections of the society which have answered the call for assistance. In this regard, I would like to express my sincere appreciation at the support rendered to my ministry by the Grand Palm Hotel.

8. My office would like to appeal to other members of the business community clusters, organizations associations and individuals to get involved in similar endeavours and support the drive towards building safer communities. We request all members of the communities especially the youth, to volunteer their time to serving in these community policing efforts at a given time of no less than six months.

9. We have been fund raising through our police officers on the roads, which money will be used for crime fighting in all its forms. We shall also be purchasing all our needs through the same fund to enable us to eradicate crime, like two way radios, torches to mention but a few. We shall also install solar lighting for powering these satellite police stations.

Ladies and gentlemen, the same fund will also cater for the remuneration of these volunteers I have already alluded to. I urge other business concerns to emulate the Grand Palm in joining hands with the community to eradicate crime amongst us, and in this way, create a better Botswana for all of us. Thank you.

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