Mogoditshane and Selebi Phikwe police stations have both scooped the ‘Best Station Award’ at the 10th Annual National Community Cluster Awards which were held in Maun last week.
The two police station were followed by Letlhakeng and Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Stations on second position, while Maun got position three.
The award was presented to the police stations which attained the best community commitment and best practice.
The Policing Cluster Awards, which returned after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 recognise and appreciate the best performing community policing clusters and police stations.
Other categories comprised were the minister’s award of excellence in Community Policing, The National award for Best Performing Division in Crime Reduction, Best Cluster Award, District executive Chairpersons’ award, Neutral Panelists Award and the Special Trophy Award. Most awards were dominated by District No 14 while District No 5 (Ngamiland) only featured in the Best Station Award.
Member of Parliament for Maun East Goretetse Kekgonegile emphasised on the need for local police stations to be allocated more resources to help enable them assist the public more effectively. Kekgonegile opined that the police lacked resources which hinders their work.
Minister of Defence and Security Kagiso Mmusi acknowledged the challenges faced by the community policing clusters countrywide such as shortage of transport to effectively do their job.
“Government will continue to capacitate the Botswana Police Service within the limited resources at our disposal as fighting crime is one of our key priorities,” the minister assured.
Mmusi encouraged the youth to participate in the cluster policing as they are mostly affected by crime both as victims and perpetrators. He added that urban areas as well do not participate as much as rural areas, therefore he encouraged the utilization of technology like digital media platforms to enhance police community collaboration to defeat the scourge of crime among the youth and urban areas.
Mmusi further said the issue of gender based violence remains a concern in society as it dominates statistics in police crime records. He added that community policing would help curb GBV as perpetrators live in those communities.
Meanwhile Acting Police Commissioner, Solomon Mantswe explained that policing in Botswana was initially largely dependent on the effort of the police until the socio economic growth of the country indicated that the police alone cannot handle criminal challenges.
He indicated that in 1986, the ‘First Crime Prevention Committees’ were formed which emphasized on educating communities on assisting the police to fight against crime. The policing initiatives included Neighborhood watch, Business Watch Forum, Youth Outreach Programmes and Community Cluster Policing.
Mantswe said new initiatives aimed at enhancing community policing drive include family Cluster which will be aimed at Nurturing crime prevention amongst family members to enhance safety at home, alongside a crime prevention Cartoon Family used to disseminate crime prevention messages to specific targeted age group.