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A day in the life of police officer on patrol

I would say in every town, at one time or another, there will be a story on the local newspaper about a police ride-along.

This is where a journalist gets to spend the night with a police officer in his patrol car.

It can make for an interesting night and an adequate feature story about the procedures, the routine and the philosophy of being a police officer.

On occasion, if the writer is lucky, there is some real action-a car chase, an arrest, an act of bravery to write about.

This is all part of the experience of being a journalist and writing to experience the world, story by story.

Never mind if the story is predictable to me, it is interesting to the writer.

On the eve of the New Year (December 31), I was in a group of journalists that joined a joint patrol of 283 police officers and 87 Botswana Defence Force (BDF) members who patrolled Mogoditshane to crack down on criminal activities.

Journalists were robed in to get first-hand information on the operations of the law enforcement agencies in order to write stories about crime activities that occurred during the operations.

With a population of 140 000 people, Mogoditshane policing area covers villages such as Mogoditshane, Tsolamosese, Gabane, Ramotswa, Kopong, Mmopane, Metsimotlhabe, Gaborone West and Old Naledi.

The area has five police stations being Ramotswa, Old Naledi, Gaborone West, Sir Seretse Khama and Mogoditshane.

Mogoditshane policing area was chosen because of its vastness as well as being on the top list in all crime categories such as murder, armed robberies, rape, home invasions, house break-ins and stealing from persons amongst others.

The night started with a short briefing before the start of the patrol.

We discussed areas which were more plagued by crime in order to deter crime in those areas.

Police patrol officers and soldiers were assigned to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime and arrest violators.

The Station Commander of Gaborone West Police Station, Superintendent Haward Modo did not mince his words when cautioning the police about the operation.

He went straight to the point that they should arrest anybody who was found violating the law including those who sold alcohol at home without permission.

While on patrol, the police observed people, their vehicles, their mannerism and of course their body language.

These are all things that play into whether or not they may catch the police attention.

Our first stop was the Phase Two Bar, which is one of the most problematic areas in Gaborone West policing area.

Things turned sour for one woman who was a magistrate in Francistown.

They had snatched her cellphone and disappeared into thin air.

However, the police on patrol did not despair as they quickly followed them in the dark.

A few minutes later a security vehicle arrived and informed us that all of the three thieves had been arrested.

It turned out that the thieves were repeat offenders as they were released on the same day from police cells.

They were Kgosietsile Leew of Molepolole, Tumelo Kebidistwe of Gabane and Aubrey Mongale of Serowe. Another team led by Inspector Justice Mantswemabe arrested two people at Gaborone Block 9 for noise and nuisance.

Each of them were charged P500 for the offence.

At Molapo Crossing Mall, a thieve escaped by a whisker after snatching a cellphone from a group of people who were busy enjoying themselves to welcome the New Year at a parking lot.

The thieve disappeared into thin air and no arrest was made.

Gaborone West Station Commander, Modo said generally the patrol went well and thanked Batswana for behaving themselves in a proper manner on the eve of the New Year festive season.

Meanwhile, the Station Commander of Mogoditshane Police Station, Superintended Agreement Mapeu also said the operation in his area of jurisdiction also went well without any serious incidences of crime.

He said there were no reports of fatal accidents or murder apart from minor offences such as common assaults, attributing this to intensive campaigns they embarked upon such as public education in the media during the course of the year.

He said the deployment of police officers in crime prone areas was objective in the sense that it was a feedback from past experiences where they went wrong as the police in the fight against criminal activities.

He thanked Batswana particularly in Mogoditshane which is known of its horrendous crimes such as murder, armed robberies, rape, home invasions, house break-ins and stealing from persons to have behaved well on the eve of the festive season.ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : GABORONE

Event : Security patrol

Date : Jan 03 Wed,2018

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