Po­lice re­ceive SADC foren­sic train­ing

Lesotho Times - - News -

LE­SOTHO Mounted Po­lice Ser­vices (LMPS) of­fi­cers have be­gun a month-long foren­sic train­ing course at the Po­lice Train­ing Cen­tre in Maseru un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the South­ern Africa De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity Pre­ven­tion Mis­sion in Le­sotho (SAPMIL).

The open­ing cer­e­mony on Mon­day was at­tended by the Deputy Com­mis­sioner of SAPMIL Po­lice Com­po­nent, Joseph Shikongo, the Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice (DCP), Keketso Mon­a­heng and other high rank­ing LMPS of­fi­cers.

DCP Mon­a­heng said the Foren­sic Train­ing Course was in line with the re­gional bloc’s quest to re­form the LMPS and help Le­sotho to achieve last­ing peace and sta­bil­ity.

The SAPMIL also known as the SADC Standby Force was de­ployed to Le­sotho on 2 De­cem­ber 2017. The standby force is made of 217 sol­diers, 15 in­tel­li­gence per­son­nel, 24 po­lice of­fi­cers and 13 civil­ian ex­perts.

A con­fi­den­tial SADC re­port that was pre­pared ahead of the de­ploy­ment of the SADC force and seen by this pub­li­ca­tion, stated that the lat­ter had a man­date of “cre­at­ing a suf­fi­ciently se­cure, sta­ble and peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive for the rule of law nec­es­sary for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the se­cu­rity sec­tor re­forms and the rec­om­men­da­tions of the SADC”.

The re­port also stressed the need for the LMPS to be re-trained in some ar­eas to en­sure that it be­comes a more ef­fi­cient and pro­fes­sional force.

Speak­ing at the open­ing cer­e­mony on Mon­day, DCP Mon­a­heng, hailed the SAPMIL in­ter­ven­tion for help­ing re­store peace and sta­bil­ity to Le­sotho and said the SADC-OR­gan­ised course came at the right would help im­prove the in­ves­tiga­tive ca­pac­i­ties of the LMPS and they would also ap­ply their new-found skills to in­ves­ti­gat­ing rob­beries, sex­ual of­fences, house-break­ing, cy­ber­crimes and scenes of ex­plo­sions.

“The course will en­able the par­tic­i­pants to ac­cu­rately de­ter­mine the facts of a par­tic­u­lar case and present as much ev­i­dence as pos­si­ble to the courts of law,” DCP Mon­a­heng said.

For his part, Mr Shikongo, called on the par­tic­i­pants to take the train­ing se­ri­ously as the knowl­edge gained would im­prove the over­all per­for­mance of the LMPS.

He said the course was tai­lored to ad­dress the im­me­di­ate train­ing needs that were iden­ti­fied in the course of in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the LMPS and SAPMIL po­lice since the lat­ter’s de­ploy­ment to Le­sotho.

“We noted that the in­ves­ti­ga­tions of most of the high pro­file cases were not fi­nalised in rea­son­able time ei­ther due to lack of foren­sic equip­ment or req­ui­site skills to tackle those cases,” he said.

He also said that SAPMIL had a man­date to en­sure the amend­ment of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) Act of 1996 and the LMPS Act of 1998 to en­sure the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers be­tween the two se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions to avoid over­lap­ping man­dates which could give rise to con­flicts.

He said the amend­ments should re­sult in the LMPS as­sum­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the main­te­nance of law and or­der, adding that they must do so in­de­pen­dently, “without fear or favour and ir­re­spec­tive of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion, creed or re­li­gion”.

— SAPMIL

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