Police warned against social media

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Lesotho Mounted Police Services has threatened disciplinary action against its officers who share the police force’s organisational communication on the social media.

The warning was delivered by the office of Assistant Police Commissioner in a memo dated 3 April 2018.

“It has come to the notice of the LMPS management that some of its officers divulge organisational communications to unauthorised platforms such as social media,” part of the memo states.

The memo goes on to advise all District Commissioners of Police (DISPOL) that they should “warn personnel under their command that any police officer who will be found to have shared any such information…is committing a disciplinary offence under the Official Secret Acts or the LMPS Regulations, therefore disciplinary action will be taken against such officer”.

Last year in October, the Police Minister, ’Mampho Mokhele, ordered a re-sit of the examinations for police recruits after the question paper was circulated to social media networks before the completion of the examinations, an issue she dubbed as “totally unacceptable.”

In March 2016, the former Police Commissioner, Molahlehi Letsoepa, suspended the head of the Inspectorate for the Complaints and Discipline (ICD), Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) ’Masebina Ramone, who had been in the service for 25 years.

She was suspended on allegations that she operated a Facebook account highly critical of the former seven parties’ coalition government, the Commissioner of Police and the Lesotho Defence Force Commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

Police Spokesperson, Superintendent Mopeli, said the memo came at a time “when some police officers seem to have forgotten their primary mandate and conduct”.

“The police officers need to do more listening than talking and they must be discreet with information.

“The memo is not intended to scare anyone. People are at liberty to socialise but not to bring the organisation into disrepute by sharing information that is not supposed to be in the public domain,” Supt Mopeli said, adding some of the prematurely released information could jeopardise cases under investigation.

He said that the premature release of information or its release on the wrong platforms had the effect of undermining public confidence in the LMPS.

 

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