Police, Sentebale sign MoU
Neo Matheka and Thabiso Makibinyane
The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and Sentebale on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their partnership in fighting crime.
The agreement was signed at the police headquarters in Maseru between the Commissioner of Police (COMPOL), Holomo Molibeli, and Sentebale’s country director, Ntoli Moletsane.
Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso in 2006 as a response to the needs of children and young people in Lesotho.
The name means ‘forget-me-not’ in the Sesotho language, representing a pledge to remember the most vulnerable children in the region.
Molibeli said when there are good police-community relations, police have a better understanding of the public’s concerns, especially those that are crime-related.
He indicated that this makes citizens more inclined to report crimes that occur to the police and willingly provide tips. He said LMPS appreciates the MoU as it will bring them closer to the community and close gaps in the fight against crime.
The LMPS’s mission is to provide a high standard of ethical policing locally while respecting human rights and upholding the rule of law through professional crime management strategies.
The mission statement also states that LMPS will discharge its duties in consultation with the community and all stakeholders for all to enjoy a safe and crime-free environment.
“Children and young adults should be aware of their rights and be responsible members of their communities. They should be equipped with the necessary information and resources to help them as they are the biggest targets of criminals because they are seen as weak and unable to protect themselves,” Molibeli said.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Seneke Ezekiel Senti, stated that one of the many reasons for the collaboration was to help the unemployed youth, as well as those still in school to stay away from all crime-related activities as engaging in such may hinder their plans.
“Having a criminal record can shatter one’s dreams,” Senti said.
Moletsane said there was an urgent need to educate the youth on the dangers of involving themselves in criminal activities which eventually lead to them having a criminal record.
She said by working together with the police, this could be achieved.
“It is important to start shaping them at a young age and not wait until it is too late to change the outcomes of the choices they would have made,” she said.