By Charles Tjatindi
Police Public Relations Committees (PPRCs) in the Erongo Region, whose main aim is to assist the police in crime prevention by carrying out operations at community level, have been praised for their efforts.
The Erongo Police Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner Festus Shilongo, has praised the work of PPRCs in the region, stating that their contribution to crime prevention has been invaluable.
PPRCs are community-based structures, operated by volunteers from the various communities in the region who team up with the police on various patrol and search missions in their respective areas.
In an interview with New Era, Shilongo noted that the contribution of these committees to the regional police’s war on crime, governed by its slogan of “Make Erongo Safe”, has immensely contributed to safe neighbourhoods.
Since the establishment of such committees in various towns and villages in the Erongo Region, Shilongo noted, crime and violent acts have subsequently decreased.
“PPRCs have assisted the police in many operations around the region. These are very important structures in our communities and should be accorded assistance in whatever they require to make their work easier. I am very happy of their achievements,” said Shilongo.
PPRCs have been set up at Henties Bay, Uis, Swakopmund, Arandis, Karibib, Otjimbingwe, and Walvis Bay’s Narraville suburb. Most PPRCs, most notably that of Walvis Bay’s Narraville and Meersig suburbs, have already given birth to sub-group neighbourhood watch committees.
“Today, these suburbs are the beneficiaries of patriotism through its sons and daughters who are volunteering themselves to secure safety at their own expense and for the sake of others,” Shilongo explained why neighbourhood watch committees are highly regarded in the region.
Efforts by the Meersig Neighbourhood Watch Committee have earned the suburb the status of safest suburb in Walvis Bay, while Narraville is to be declared second safest soon due to the operations of its respective neighbourhood watch.
The Deputy Commissioner, however, noted that despite these good intentions, committee members are occasionally assaulted and threatened with death by suspected criminals.
“For the last months, the neighbourhood watch tasted the bitter pill of being confronted by supporters of crime gangs, but they excelled and the excellent relationship with the community has won over the negative criticisms,” said Shilongo.
The regional commander warned residents to refrain from acts of violence and intimidation against members of PPRCs, as such acts would be deemed criminal offences and punishable by law.