The Honourable Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini has appealed to police officers to be profession and adhere to provisions of the law in the investigation of cases.

This was during the End of Year Senior Police Officers and Senior Civilian Support Staff Conference held at the Matsapha Police Academy on January 16 under the theme “Reviewing Strategies of Creating a Safe and Secure Eswatini through Mitigating Crime in particular, Homicides and Fatalities in partnership with Stakeholders”.Speaking through the Deputy Prime Minster – Themba Masuku, the Premier appealed for the application of absolute professionalism, strict compliance with applicable laws and operational best practices in each and every case since the Police are in the constant scrutiny of the public.

The Prime Minister reveled that crimes of particular concern in the social landscape include Homicides, Armed Robberies and those relating to the phenomenon of Sexual Abuse of women and children. He stated that there is need for the Police Service to review and fine-tune its crime fighting strategies, including exploring use of contemporary policing methods to help bring these crimes under control.He noted that given the scale and proportion of the challenge at hand, there is no room for wavering or half-hearted measures, lest the target of stimulating economic growth as envisaged by Government’s Strategic Road-Map (2019-2023) is thrown into disarray.

Premier urged the Police toformulate crime fighting strategies that will decisively deal with armed robberies. He condemned the selfish and unpatriotic tendency that is now emerging, whereby Emaswati join hands with foreign nationals to commit armed robberies in the country and then eloping to evade arrest. He strongly warned those who engage in such a practice to desist from it as it is tantamount to selling one’s country or birthright.

The Prime Minister commended the Police for an impressive security coverage which was in place during the Festive Season and Incwala Ceremony. He stated that Police visibility in urban and outlying areas was at an all-time high.

Speaking during the conference, the National Commissioner – Tsitsibala W. Dlamini stated that its objectives include reflecting on how the Police Service fared during the course of the year as well as drawing a pragmatic Programme of Action and strategies to guide operations for the current year. He revealed that the chief concern of the Police Service is crime and as such there has been no shift from its focus and commitment.

The National Commissioner decried that even though the set target has been to reduce Homicides, the year2019 saw an upsurge of Murder cases as 138cases recorded compared to 123 cases recorded in 2018.He noted that other crime incidents of concern that require special attention include Armed Robbery, the Gender Based Violence phenomenon, house burglaries, Theft of Copper cables as well as the financial and economic crimes which include Cybercrime.

The National Commissioner lamented the undesirable phenomenon of hiring of hit-men known as Tinkhabi to eliminate targeted individuals. He revealed that it has been already communicated internally that in the event there are reports of death threats and conflicts that have a propensity to escalate to murder or equivalent mischief, Commanding Officers should ensure that the requisite and expedited action is taken to avert any undesirable occurrence.

The police chief stated that for the operational year 2020, the Police Pledge to His Majesty’s Government and the nation as a whole, is to revive and strengthen partnerships with all stakeholders on hindsight that we cannot fight crime in isolation. He revealed that going forward, the community partnership policing approach or model will define Police crime management frameworks. He further expressed appreciation for the existing working relationship between the Police and the other Security Forces, namely; Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force and His Majesty’s Correctional Services and hope such splendid cooperation will continue in the years to come.