Skip to content
News release

Basotho cite brutality, lack of professionalism, and corruption among police failings

23 Sep 2022 Lesotho
Download (English)
News release
Key findings
  • Half (50%) of Basotho say they felt unsafe while walking in their neighbourhood at least once during the previous year. Close to six in 10 (58%) say they feared crime in their home (Figure 1).
  • Nearly nine in 10 Basotho (88%) believe that the homicide rate in the country has increased over the past five years (Figure 2).
  • More than half (52%) of citizens say that “most” or “all” police are corrupt – the third- worst rating among 13 institutions and leaders the survey asked about (Figure 3).
  • Only one-third (33%) of Basotho say they trust the police “somewhat” or “a lot” (Figure 4).
  • Seven in 10 Basotho (71%) say the police “often” or “always” abuse or torture people in their custody (Figure 6).

A majority of Basotho say the police are frequently guilty of abuse and criminal activities, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

Amid a growing sense of insecurity in their neighbourhoods and homes, only one-third of Basotho say they trust the police, who rank high among the country’s institutions in perceived corruption.

A majority of Basotho say the police routinely torture or abuse people in their custody, use excessive force in dealing with criminals, and engage in illegal activities. Few think the police operate in a professional manner and respect citizens’ rights.

And citizens overwhelmingly say the government is doing a bad job of reducing homicides and other crime.