By Anna Shilongo
The Windhoek City Police is reminding Namibians to remain vigilant in order to avoid becoming victims of crime during the festive season.
Nampol and the City Police have joined forces in the capital, Windhoek, and will be stepping up the frequency of their patrols.
Both forces indicate they intend to work closely with Windhoek residents to prevent crime.
Spokesperson of the City Police, Marx Hipandwa, said the City Police would be on patrol 24 hours a day.
“We will be working together with our counterparts, because we cannot work in isolation. We are here to compliment them, be it logistics or transport problems, we are ready to assist the Namibian Police,” Hipandwa said.
Furthermore, he noted the City Police and the Namibian Police have a very good working relationship.
Hipandwa advised home owners when going away on holiday to ask trusted neighbours, a relative or close friend to carry out daily checks on their residence.
Alternatively, they should have a trusted able-bodied person to occupy the premises during the time they are away.
“Also inform our duty officers that you will be away, also giving them the address of your residence for the officers to patrol around that street,” said the spokesperson.
Research has shown that the majority of burglars or thieves avoid breaking into properties with an alarm system.
Security services this time of the year usually introduce special prices for the festive season.
They invite homeowners who have an alarm system, and who want to activate them, to connect to their 24-hour control centre.
Over the festive season, the police are likely to issue more traffic tickets to people who violate traffic regulations under the current ‘Broken Window Campaign’.
The City Police this year will mainly focus on housebreaking, drivers and shebeens that contravene laws.
“The City Police will be targeting housebreaking because many people leave their houses unattended during the holiday period,” he stressed.
Hipandwa has promised, his force will be on high alert throughout the city during the festive season in an effort to clamp down on the usual upsurge in criminal activities.
“It is our responsibility to make sure people enjoy peace and safety in the city during the festive season, and we will be mobilising our members to be on high alert,” Hipandwa announced.
According to Hipandwa, people can expect to see more foot and vehicle patrols as well as more consultation between the City Police and members of the public.
The aim of the consultations with the public is for the City Police to gain a clearer idea of what the public expects from the force and what their concerns are.
He warned that criminals would be intensifying their activities too because they want to have money to enjoy over the festive season.
In his end-of-year message, Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga said the Namibian police are ready to fight crime through more proactive community policing this festive season, despite escalating crime in the country.
“I am calling upon members of the Force to fight crime tooth and nail, because together we can make it,” Ndeitunga said.
He again emphasised that the country can only tackle crime effectively if the public assists the police by reporting any criminal incidents.
Such a situation will in turn enhance a more proactive method of policing and, at the same time, allow for public participation in policing, the Inspector General stressed.
In view of this, Ndeitunga emphasised that for the police force to fulfil their mandate, they need to build a network of reliable partners in society.
“We shall strive to prevent crime from taking place by enlisting the assistance of our partners,” he said.
He called upon the public to continue to cooperate with the Namibian Police at all levels by providing information on crime, or tip-offs, that could help in rooting out crime.
In general, the high level of crime remains a worrying concern for the country’s socio-economic development, and law enforcement agents need to make an effort to safeguard people’s lives and properties.
However, reflecting on the numerous successes of the Namibian Police last year, it becomes evident that the police are making progress in combating crime.
In one such notable success, this year, “Operation Cobra”, the Namibian Police together with the City Police confiscated stolen goods and dangerous weapons from hot spots such as shebeens, streets and riverbeds.
Ndeitunga commended the public for their assistance, saying that the police force would not have been able to carry out such a successful operations without public support.
Operation Cobra resulted in the Khomas Region arresting 440 people and seizing 615 dangerous weapons, while the police laid charges in 158 cases of drinking in public.
The confiscated items included pangas, hand-made weapons, firearms, knives, stolen computers, television sets, screwdrivers and clothing.
With traffic related offences, traffic units in Windhoek, Okahandja and Rehoboth issued 2ǟ