City Criminals Beware!

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By Simon Martha Mkina and Henry Chibulu WINDHOEK As part of a systematic initiative to rid its streets of criminal elements, the City of Windhoek will soon mount surveillance cameras on the streets. State-of-the-art surveillance cameras will be fitted at strategic places to keep tabs on the criminal underworld. The chief of the City Police Abraham Kotokeni Kanime, in an interview yesterday, said places earmarked for the surveillance gear include the main avenues, streets and busy shops. He said plans are underway to put up these sophisticated gadgets within the current financial year. Financial years at most government and private entities start in July and end the following June. “Cameras will be installed in key areas that are more affected by criminals within the city, hoping that they will lead to a success in curbing crime in the city,” he warned. Other areas are those surrounding banks and shopping centres. Apart from that, Kanime also pointed out that soon the public will have a chance to use toll-free cell numbers to call the police once they have tips on crime. He said as soon those numbers are out to the public, anyone with information will be free to call and inform the police on any movement of a crime within the city. Speaking on the achievement of the City Police, Kanime said the police force has done an excellent job in cutting the frequency of crime within the bounds of Windhoek. “Since we started operating a year ago, City Police have done a lot in curbing of armed robbery, which then was almost the order of each day,” he said, giving compliments to his officers. He said his unit is concerned about thefts of motor vehicles, housebreaking, out of motor vehicle thefts and thefts at ATMs. Kanime pointed out that housebreaking is still a nagging problem, but his officers are working hard to contain the crime. The force has enough personnel, he revealed. Some 151 recruits are undergoing training and are expected to graduate in December. The force has 130 crime prevention officers against 245 posts, as well as 90 traffic officers. “These thugs have now resorted to house-breaking because they fear to engage in armed robberies. This comes as a result of the manner in which we encircled the premises on which they had gone to rob, killing two instantly and wounding others.” He called upon the general public to collaborate with his officers by giving them tips on every criminal activity in the city. Furthermore, Kanime said the City Police is in the process of drawing up strategies to make sure that motor vehicle hijackings stop. He could not reveal the strategies, saying they could be useful to criminals before they come into force. But, he said, the strategies will be community-based.