LESOTHO Mounted Police Services (LMPS) officers have begun a week-long crime intelligence 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 this week was attended by the Deputy Commissioner of SAPMIL Police Component, Joseph Shikongo, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Paseka Mokete, and other high ranking LMPS officers.
Mr Shikongo said the crime intelligence course was in line with SAPMIL’s mandate to help re-train the security sector as part of the broader reform agenda that is aimed at achieving lasting peace and stability in Lesotho.
The SAPMIL, also known as the SADC Standby Force, was deployed to Lesotho on 2 December 2017.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, Mr Shikongo, said 30 LMPS officers would be trained in different techniques of collecting and analysing information and transforming such information into actionable operational crime intelligence.
“The (crime intelligence) training is fundamental to the security needs of the country in order to bring about sustainable peace and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho,” Mr Shikongo said, adding that law enforcement officers had a huge responsibility to not only maintain law and order but to also protect the human rights of everyone including criminal suspects.
“Crime intelligence is not about gossiping or rumour mongering but in the context of the police organisation, intelligence is a powerful tool to assist management to have better understanding of the crime situation in the country,” Mr Shikongo added.
Since its deployment last December, the police component of SAPMIL has already provided forensic training to help improve the investigative capacities of the LMPS in cases of robberies, sexual offences, house-breaking, cybercrimes and scenes of explosions.
SAPMIL has also assisted in the LMPS’ investigations of the assassinations of army commanders, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao and Khoantle Motšomotšo who were murdered by fellow soldiers in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
And on Monday, Mr Shikongo said SAPMIL would continue providing training to build the capacity of the LMPS so that it improved its service delivery to the public.
For his part DCP Mokete, said crime intelligence was a necessary tool to ensure effectiveness in fighting crime.
He said the training was all the more necessary because criminals had become sophisticated as they strategised on how to commit crimes and recruited informers for their illegal activities.