Botswana has made strides towards becoming a safe and secure nation, although there are still challenges that need to be addressed, Botswana Police Service's Assistant Commissioner Chris Mbulawa has said.
Speaking during the Vision 2016 stakeholders conference in Gaborone on Wednesday, Mr Mbulawa said efforts to make the country safe and secure had been lauded internationally.
"According to the 2014 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index of 2014, Botswana was ranked as the 31st most peaceful nation in the world, and the number one in Sub Saharan Africa, and the World Peace Report also ranked Botswana as the 31st in the world and second in Sub-Saharan Africa," he said..
He also said their own domestic records had shown a decrease in crime statistics, but the country still faced challenges in its aspiration to become a safe and secure nation, one of the seven pillars of the National Vision 2016.
"We need to significantly reduce levels of serious and violent crime, the violation of the physical wellbeing and human rights of individuals; the illegal possession of firearms; the distribution and use of addictive drugs as well as road accident deaths," he said.
Mr Mbulawa said the police had targeted crime of a serious nature, especially given that there had been an increase in the sophistication of criminal activity.
The Director of Plans, Strategy and Programmes at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Brigadier Mpho Mophuthing concurred with Mr Mbulawa that Batswana were concerned about the use of weapons in crime, organized crime, the increased availability and abuse of hard drugs, cybercrime and road carnage.
He said Batswana did not want acts of foreign or national terror to threaten their daily livelihood and as the BDF had taken measures to face modern security challenges.
"We have been working on training staff and modernising the force; increasing our capability to face modern security challenges such as terrorism, poaching, cybercrime and others. We have been working on improving tactically, operationally and strategically in this regard," Brigadier Mophuting said.
He said they were training their staff on modern security studies, and had worked on the protection of national airspace and were also aiding anti-poaching efforts to ensure better homeland security.