By Charles Tjatindi
Efforts by the Narraville neighbourhood watch to assist the regional police to fight crime in Walvis Bay continues to bear the desired results.
Of late, the neighbourhood watch assisted by the police have conducted patrols and random checks on business premises and other places at the town, which culminated in the apprehension of criminals – most of them being caught red handed.
One such incident involved three men who were caught while allegedly attempting to steal fuel from a stationary truck at Walvis Bay’s industrial area. The men were arrested after being found with containers of diesel, believed to have been drawn from the truck at around midnight last Friday.
In another incident on the same night, members of the neighbourhood watch and the police impounded about 500 kg of dagga from suspected drug dealers at the town.
The patrol team was also involved in other operations targeting pirate taxis and she- beens, did nightclub patrols and recovered suspected stolen items including an electrical generator.
A committee member of the Narraville neighborhood watch, Charles Neidel, attributed the success of such operations by the neighborhood watch to the good working relations between his organisation and the regional police.
“We have good cooperation with the police. Our operations are only successful because we do not work in isolation with them, but allow our efforts to complement one another,” he said.
Despite their noble intentions however, the lack of finances has been threatening the project’s progress, noted Neidel. He appealed to business communities and residents of Walvis Bay to support the project in any way possible.
“We welcome any contributions. We really depend on you for survival and finance becomes a necessity for logistics and administration,” noted Neidel Various businesses, among them the supermarket chain Woermann Brock, have already responded positively to the neighbourhood watch’s call.
The supermarket chain on Friday sponsored a fundraising breakfast, which was attended by representatives of various businesses and organisations.
The event also saw the launch of the neighbourhood watch’s new image, sponsored by Woermann Brock.
Those present appeared to have one common opinion – how crime impacts on business. For a population of about 65 000 inhabitants, approximately 1 200 security guards are employed to guard businesses at Walvis Bay. The town’s municipality is said to be spending an average of N$500 000 annually on securing its property, it emerged at the function.
The Regional Chairman of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NCCI, John Sava noted that considering these exorbitant expenses incurred by businesses on security, crime education becomes a vital part of every business.
He therefore appealed to other businesses in the region to follow suit and assist the neighbourhood watch.
“Unemployment and crime is our enemy. Business people, police and religious leaders together with our Government and community should root out this problem.
“Let’s live in a crime-free society and create a better tomorrow for our youth.”