Introduction and Interpretation


   1.   Short title


   2.   Interpretation




Constitution and Administration


   3.   Constitution of the Service


   4.   Commissioner


   5.   Delegation of powers of Commissioner


   6.   Duties, functions and administration of Service


   7.   Employment of Service in emergency




Appointment, Attestation, Service and Discharge


   8.   Appointment of police officers


   9.   Declaration on attestation


   10.   Pensions and gratuities


   11.   Permission for resignation


   12.   Restriction on retirement


   13.   Interdiction


   14.   Termination of appointment


   15.   Retirement, reduction in rank, dismissal




Powers, Duties and Privileges of Police Officers


   16.   General powers and duties


   17.   Duty to lay information and apply for summons, etc.


   18.   Powers with regard to fires


   19.   Other employment forbidden


   20.   Uniform and equipment






   21.   Method of dealing with offences


   22.   Offences for trial by criminal court


   23.   Disciplinary offences


   24.   Membership of political party, trade union, etc., forbidden


   25.   Powers of arrest and remand


   26.   Authorities for the trial of disciplinary offences


   27.   Punishment


   28.   Dismissal as a result of disciplinary action


   29.   Confirmation, consideration and review of sentences


   30.   Attendance of witnesses


   31.   Disobedience to summons


   32.   Witnesses' expenses


   33.   Defence of accused


   34.   Recovery of fines


   35.   Dismissal, etc., to be considered as punishment


   36.   Disciplinary action after acquittal of criminal charges






   37.   Appeals


   38.   Appeals procedure


   39.   Application of section 31 to proceedings before Police Council




Rewards and Fines Fund


   40.   Establishment of Rewards and Fines Fund


   41.   Lost property


   42.   Unclaimed property




Special Constables


   43.   Appointment of special constables


   44.   Equipment for special constables


   45.   Powers of special constables


   46.   Termination of service of special constables


   47.   Delivery up of equipment


   48.   Death or injury of special constable


   49.   Remuneration of special constable




Police Reserve


   50.   Formation of Police Reserve


   51.   Appointments to Police Reserve


   52.   Service to be voluntary


   53.   Equipment for Police Reserve


   54.   Powers and privileges of Police Reserve


   55.   Salary and allowances of Police Reserve


   56.   Death or injury of members of Police Reserve






   57.   Unauthorized wearing, etc., of police uniform


   58.   Obstruction


   59.   No attachment of property of police officer


   60.   Assignment of pay


   61.   Limitation of action




Police Council


   62.   Appointment of Police Council


   63.   Duties of Police Council


   64.   Complaints against the Service






   65.   Regulations


   66.   Botswana Police College to be a tertiary institution







Act 29, 1978,
S.I. 157, 1978,
Act 18, 1980,
Act 15, 2002.

An Act to provide for the enrolment, discipline, control and administration of the Botswana Police Service; to provide for Special constables and for a Police Reserve and a Police Council; and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.

[Date of Commencement: 1st January, 1979]

Introduction and Interpretation
(ss 1-2)


1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Police Act.


2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "appointing authority" means an authority referred to in section 8;

   "arms" includes firearms;

   "Board" means a Board constituted in terms of section 26;

   "Branch Commander" means any officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner and above, who is in command of a branch of the Service;

   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Police appointed by the President in terms of section 112 of the Constitution;

   "inspectorate" means those police officers of the rank of inspector or sub-inspector;

   "junior officer" means a police officer of the rank of sergeant or below;

   "pay" means the salary of a police officer in his substantive rank but does not include any allowances which have not been declared to be pensionable;

   "police camp" means an area set aside for occupation by police officers;

   "police council" means the Police Council established under section 62;

   "police officer" includes a special constable and a member of the Reserve Service but does not include a civilian employee;

   "review authority" means the appropriate review authority under section 29;

   "senior officer" means any police officer of or above the rank of Assistant Superintendent;

   "Service" means the Botswana Police Service as constituted under this Act, and any reference in any enactment to the Botswana Police Force shall be construed as a reference to Botswana Police Service.

Constitution and Administration
(ss 3-7)


3.   Constitution of the Service

   (1) The Service shall consist of the Commissioner of Police and such numbers of those ranks specified in the Schedule as the President may from time to time direct, and police officers shall rank for seniority in the order shown therein.

   (2) The President may, by order published in the Gazette, amend the Schedule.


4.   Commissioner

   (1) The Commissioner shall, subject to this Act and the general direction of the President, have the command, superintendence, direction and control of the Service and shall be responsible to the President for maintaining peace and good order throughout Botswana.

   (2) The Commissioner may, subject to this Act, issue or approve such orders for the general control and administration of the Service as he may deem necessary.


5.   Delegation of powers of Commissioner

   (1) Any power conferred on the Commissioner by this Act may, subject to the directions of the Commissioner, be exercised by the Deputy Commissioner.

   (2) Any power vested in the Commissioner by any enactment, may be delegated to an officer of or above the rank of Superintendent.


6.   Duties, functions and administration of Service

   (1) The Service shall be employed in and throughout Botswana to protect life and property, prevent and detect crime, repress internal disturbances, maintain security and public tranquillity, apprehend offenders, bring offenders to justice, duly enforce all written laws with which it is directly charged and generally maintain the peace.

   (2) For the performance of their duties under this Act police officers may carry arms.

   (3) The Service shall perform such military duties within Botswana as may be required of it under the authority of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

   (4) The control of the police in any place shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Commissioner to be in charge thereof; such officer shall carry out the orders of the Commissioner in all matters subject to this Act.


7.   Employment of Service in emergency

   The President may, in time of war or other emergency, employ the Service or part thereof in the defence of Botswana:

   Provided that the Service or such part thereof when so employed shall remain, for the purpose of administration and discipline, under the command of the Commissioner.

Appointment, Attestation, Service and Discharge
(ss 8-15)


8.   Appointment of police officers

   (1) Subject to this Act-


   (a)   the Permanent Secretary to the President shall, after consultation with the Commissioner, appoint fit and proper persons to hold the rank of Deputy Commissioner;


   (b)   the Commissioner shall appoint fit and proper persons-


         (i)    to hold any rank up to and including Senior Assistant Commissioner;


         (ii)   to hold any civilian office in the Botswana Police Service, of a Grade up to and including Grade D1,

whether or not the person appointed is already a member of the Service:

   Provided that the first two years of the service of any person appointed to be a member of the Service, or such longer period as the appointing authority shall direct, shall be on probation and any service spent in a prescribed organisation may count towards this period.

   (2) A police officer appointed on probation shall, subject to this Act, be confirmed in his appointment, and admitted to the permanent and pensionable establishment of the Service only on the authority of the relevant appointing authority.

   (3) An appointing authority may appoint a police officer to act in a rank senior to his substantive appointment, and where the period of such acting appointment exceeds 28 days such officer shall, during such acting appointment, receive salary at the scale applicable to the senior rank at such incremental level as the appointing authority may decide.


9.   Declaration on attestation

   (1) Every person on joining the Service shall make and sign a declaration before a senior officer in such form as may be prescribed, and at the same time shall acknowledge his appointment as a member of the Service on such form as may be prescribed.

   (2) Every person shall, before making the declaration required by subsection (1), answer truly any questions put to him as to his previous service, academic qualifications, career and employment and as to whether he has at any time been convicted of any offence punishable by the laws of Botswana or the laws of any other country.

   (3) Any person who makes a false statement in reply to any question put to him under subsection (2) to obtain or to attempt to obtain admission to the Service shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

   (4) The Commissioner may dismiss from the Service any person who contravenes subsection (2).


10.   Pensions and gratuities

   The grant of pensions and gratuities to members of the Service shall be in accordance with regulations made under this Act.


11.   Permission for resignation

   No police officer shall be at liberty to resign from the Service unless expressly permitted to do so by the appointing authority.


12.   Restriction on retirement

   No police officer shall be at liberty to retire from the Service in time of emergency or war unless the Commissioner, acting with the consent of the President, orders otherwise.


13.   Interdiction

   (1) When any police officer is accused of a criminal or disciplinary offence against this Act or any other criminal offence under any enactment, the appointing authority may suspend such officer from duty for a period not exceeding three months pending the institution and determination of proceedings against such officer but the officer shall, during the period of suspension, continue to receive full pay and benefits.

   (2) Where a police officer, who is suspended under subsection (1), is charged before a court or a Board with a criminal or disciplinary offence, the appointing authority shall interdict him and the interdicted officer shall receive such portion of his pay, not being less than one-half, as the appointing authority may determine; if the proceedings against such officer do not result in his dismissal or other punishment, he shall be entitled to the full amount of the pay he would have received had he not been suspended.

   (3) When any police officer has been interdicted from duty under subsection (2) and is not under arrest, a senior officer may order that pending the institution and determination of proceedings against such officer he shall-


   (a)   be confined to his quarters or other place of residence during such hours as the senior officer may decide;


   (b)   restrict his movements to any area which such senior officer may decide:

   Provided that where any conflict arises between an order under this subsection and any conditions of bail imposed by any court, the latter shall prevail.


14.   Termination of appointment

   (1) An appointing authority may at any time terminate the appointment of a police officer serving on probation on first appointment if he considers that such officer is unlikely to become an efficient officer, but only after inviting him to show cause why his appointment should not be terminated:

   Provided that in the case of an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner, the appointing authority shall act after consultation with the Commissioner.

   (2) The termination of an appointment under this section shall not prejudice the granting of any terminal benefits the police officer would otherwise be entitled to.

   (3) The decision of an appointing authority under this section shall be final and no appeal shall lie to any other person or authority.


15.   Retirement, reduction in rank, dismissal

   (1) An appointing authority may, at any time-


   (a)   retire a police officer if a board of Government medical officers finds he is unfit mentally or physically for further service;


   (b)   retire a police officer on a reduction of establishment;


   (c)   dismiss a police officer if he is convicted of any criminal offence, or a disciplinary offence under this Act, or alternatively-


      (i)   reduce him in rank;


      (ii)   reduce his salary on the scale applicable to him;


      (iii)   withhold future increments of salary for a period not exceeding two years; or


      (iv)   retire him;


   (d)   retire a police officer if he displays a habitual inattention to orders, or fails to obey orders, or fails to co-operate with members of the Service, or manifests a quarrelsome disposition or want of courage, although he is not guilty of a specific offence;


   (e)   retire a police officer who marries or cohabits with a person with whom the appointing authority is satisfied it is not in the public interest for a police officer to associate closely; or


   (f)   retire a police officer who, whethe

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.

Please click here to login