By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK With the escalation of crime in the country, the Namibian Police are ready to fight crime through more proactive community policing in the New Year. This was said by the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, in his New Year’s message to the general public. “I am calling upon members of the Force to enter 2007 with new methods to tackle crime tooth and nail,” said Ndeitunga. He is of the opinion that crime in the country can only be tackled effectively if the general public works with the police by reporting any criminal incidents in the first place. Such a situation will in turn enhance a more proactive method of policing and, at the same time, allow for public participation in policing. In view of this, Ndeitunga emphasized the fact that for the police force to fulfil their mandate, they need to build a network with reliable partners in society. “We shall strive to prevent crime from taking place by enlisting the assistance of our partners, especially community leaders who, by virtue of their role as headmen and village councillors, are in a better position to know their subjects’ behaviour,” he explained. He also called upon the public to increasingly continue to cooperate with the Namibian Police at all levels by providing information on crime or tip-offs that could aid in rooting out crime. In general, the high level of crime remains a worrying concern for the country’s socio-economic development, and efforts need to be made by law enforcement agents to safeguard people’s lives and properties. However, when reflecting on the numerous successes of the Namibian Police last year, it becomes evident that this notion is being realized. One such notable success was that of “Operation Black September” last year when the Namibian Police, together with the City Police, managed to confiscate stolen goods and dangerous weapons from crime hot spots such as shebeens and riverbeds. In October last year, Operation Black September struck at the hearts of many criminals as police uncovered a notorious syndicate, and also confiscated a huge amount of fake DVDs from Chinatown worth thousands of dollars. Marking the official end of the crime prevention operation in October last year, Ndeitunga cited the most successful operation conducted by the Namibian and City Police in uncovering a criminal syndicate which was involved in a robbery at the Solitaire Country Lodge. It is reported that members of that notorious syndicate stole an estimated N$600ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000, including cheques. Several suspects were placed behind bars. The main aim behind last year’s Operation Black September, which was launched on August 2 and lasted until September 30 last year, was to detect and reduce the escalating crime rate in the city. Concluding his New Year message, Ndeitunga commended the general public for their ongoing assistance, saying that the police force would not have been able to carry out such successful operations last year without public support.