Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Police Minister unveils plan to crush crime

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Police and Public Safety Minister Mophato Monyake says the police have formulated a strategy to eradicate crime and ensure public safety. Monyake told parliament during a question and answer session on Thursday that the Annual Policing Plan contains proposals of how the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) can deal with public safety issues “over a period of 12 months”. The plan is still to be tabled in Parliament.
“The Annual Policing Plan was compiled after several wide-ranging consultations were made with communities around the country on how policing of this wonderful country should be approached,” Monyake said.

Monyake was responding to a question by the main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) party MP G Maluke for the Bobatsi constituency in Mokhotlong regarding the outcome of the police’s Operation ‘Thunderstorm’ (Kobo-Anela) that was conducted between July 30 and August 1.
Monyake said the plan set out policing objectives and priorities consistent with the objectives set by the police authority “as mandated by section 16 of the Police Service Act 1998”. “It further sets out the resources, infrastructure as well as the budget required to achieve these objectives,” Monyake said.

He said amongst the priorities identified by the police authority during 2012/2013 included the roll-out of community policing throughout the country, increase the level of detection of serious crime and “significantly reduce stock theft”. The minister said this will be realised through initiatives such as micro-chipping of livestock, purchasing more horses for the police as well as introducing helicopters for the police to “prevent incidents of corruption within the LMPS”. “We will also develop and maintain the police infrastructure to build capacity within the police service,” Monyake said. The police minister also informed the august House that his ministry planned to buy at least two helicopters to “enhance the performance of the police force” by the end of next year.

“The ministry is in the process of securing a minimum of two search and rescue helicopters for the police. “These will be very useful in tracking stolen livestock as well as patrolling Lesotho borders,” Monyake said.“It is my fervent hope that by the end of 2013 the LMPS will have its first fleet of helicopters.” In response to whether government planned to implement “swift response mechanisms” in the districts to strengthen police rapid response to “counteract the sporadic acts” of livestock rustling by criminals, who were often better armed than villagers, Monyake told parliament that his ministry also intended “building new police stations and police posts nearer to where communities live”.
“Through our consultations with the communities we have identified rational locations where police stations and posts can be located so that people do not have to travel long distances to report incidents of crime,”

Monyake said. “We have carried out a needs assessment to determine the number of horses, vehicles and other resources required at each station to help the police to effectively deal with stock theft and other serious crimes in hotspot areas.”
Highlights of achievements of Operation Operation ‘Thunderstorm’
– 38 illegal firearms together with 77 rounds of ammunition were confiscated
– 474 stolen cattle recovered
– 70 stolen goats recovered
– 841 stolen sheep recovered
– 70 stolen goats recovered
– 6 stolen donkeys recovered
– 13 stolen horses recovered
– 20 bags of dagga confiscated and 78 suspects arrested
– 7 people murder suspects arrested

Despite the success of the operation, Monyake was quick to add that such initiatives could not be conducted on a regular basis “owing to the lack of funds”. “Honourable Speaker, operations of this nature come at a great cost to the taxpayer. The mobilisation of such high volumes of resources is very costly,” Monyake said. “It involves manpower, helicopters, vehicles, fuel, accommodation, meals and other logistical support services. Our limited budget cannot sustain frequent raids of this magnitude.”

Comments are closed.