Chinese Offer To Build Police Station To Combat Crime

Gaborone-The Chinese community in Gaborone has volunteered to build a police post in the Block Three industrial areas as their effort to help the police combat crime in that area.

The area, which hosts a lot of Chinese-owned businesses has been targetted by criminals partly because of poor security. Deputy Chief of the Chinese embassy in Botswana Gou Haodong said on Friday that they decided to embark on this initiative after hearing about the Botswana Police Service venture to implement cluster/ community policing in National Development Plan 10 (NDP 10). " We were extremely encouraged by the new initiative of cluster policing by the Botswana police. After hearing this, we came together and formed a Chinese security community to see how we can contribute to help the police achieve this," he said. He said they want to set examples for other communities to follow in order to help implement the cluster policing initiative.

Gou said they thought of a possibility of building a police post in the area around Oriental Plaza. He said they agreed on that location because it is a big business area and the community living there is sizeable. He said the owner of plaza has offered a piece of land for the post to be built within the premises. In additio, some Chinese companies volunteered to make the design and construction of the proposed two-storey building.

Upon completion, the Chinese community will donate furniture and office equipment. He said once they have finalised everything with the involved stakeholders, especially the Botswana Police, they will do the ground-breaking. They want to do the construction in a very short period of time so that they hand the building to the police quickly. For his part, Botswana Police deputy commissioner (Support Services) Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi, said they welcome the Chinese community's proposal.

"This is, indeed, a very good gesture made by law abiding residents of this country and I hope it will help us a lot in fighting escalating crime, therefore our cooperation is guaranteed in this regard," he said. He said they, however, still have to discuss and come up with their proposals regarding the project before they can give the Chinese the go-ahead to construct the post. He, however, assured them that they would not be unreasonable in their proposals because they are not expecting a fully-fledged police station. "The facility will come in handy in enhancing policing in residential areas of Block Three, Block Seven and Eight, as well as commercial and industrial areas within those areas including the Oriental Plaza," Bagopi said. He said people in those areas were suffering because police stations covering them were far. He says they expect the facility to be more of a police operational point which will be manned 24 hours a day and it will not serve not only the Chinese, but every citizen of the country. He said they are still to discuss with the Chinese the site of the facility, as they would want it located where it would be more accessible to members of the public.

He said in the meantime, other formalities can continue, including the design of the facility when they are still assessing and contributing to the proposal.

(21 Dec 2009, Monitor)

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