Lesotho Mounted Police Service

The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Public Safety.It has the following mandate, to :

  • Prevent, detect and investigate crime;
  • Maintain law and order;
  • Apprehend and prosecute offenders;
  • Protect people and property; and
  • Provide emergency services.

The country is divided into three geographic regions, and police in each region work under the command of an Assistant Commissioner who reports to the National Commissioner of Police. Some of the services provided by LMPS include:

  • ballistic examination;
  • child and gender protection;
  • commercial crime investigation;
  • criminal intelligence;
  • crime statistics;
  • and records amongst others.

Oversight Mechanisms

Section 21 of the Police Act establishes an Inspector of Police that has the responsibility to monitor the effective and efficient functioning of the police and make recommendations to the Minister responsible for police. The Act also provides for a civilian Directorate of Policing that oversees the police and serves as a link between the Office of the Police and the Minister. The Police Act also sets out processes for discipline of police officers. Lesotho has a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) tasked with monitoring and overseeing the work of the police. Its powers are however severely limited as it cannot receive any complaints directly from the public. It can also only make recommendations based on the outcomes of investigations therefore it is more reactive than proactive. A Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences is mandated to investigate any complaint of corruption against a public body, including the police service. Other Bodies providing external oversight include the Office of the Ombudsman, the Defence Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General, and a Human Rights Unit within the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Rehabilitation, together with Civil Society.

  1. Interpol Connecting Police for a Safer World. Country Profile: Lesotho. Available at http://www.interpol.int/Member-countries/Africa/Lesotho. < Accessed 1 April 2016>.
  2. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (2008) An Audit of Police Oversight in Africa: Lesotho, p 37-38
  3. Tim Premier and Garth den Heyer, Civilian Oversight of Police: Advancing Accountability in Law Enforcement (2016), p 123 -124.Available here. < Accessed on 4 April 2016>.
  4. Ibid at pages 123-124.
  5. Policing and Human Rights (2012) Assessing Southern African Countries compliance with the SARPCCO Code of Conduct for Police Officials, p 42.
  6. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (2008) An Audit of Police Oversight in Africa: Lesotho, p37-38.
Country Category Date Title URL
Lesotho General 2015/2016 Amnesty International Country Report for Lesotho 2015/2016 Source
Lesotho News Story 2015 SADC orders inquiry, oversight committee on Lesotho Source
Lesotho News Story 2014 Police, army exchange fire in Lesotho Source
Lesotho Research Publication 2012 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Source