RUNDU – The Ministry of Safety and Security has called upon the Namibian Police Force to introduce stricter disciplinary measures after learning that by June this year, 782 criminal cases were reported against police officers.
During 2012, 1 319 criminal cases were reported against police officers.
Crimes such as corruption and rape were singled out as the most common crimes being committed by rogue law enforcement agents.
Police Inspector General, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga announced these shocking figures yesterday during the opening ceremony of the four-day Senior Command Conference underway in Rundu in the Kavango Region.
Addressing the conference, Minister of Safety and Security Immanuel Ngatjizeko expressed concern about the lack of discipline among members of the Namibian Police Force, some of whom are senior police officers.
“The issue of discipline needs to be addressed without delay. As commanders in the force, you should try by all means to encourage members of the force to be loyal to the country, rather than to specific tribes, social groups or regions,” said a concerned looking Ngatjizeko under whose ministry the police fall.
“We have people who are on suspension for more than six years, yet they continue to receive their salaries, things cannot continue like this, therefore we need to find ways to speedily finalize such cases through our internal disciplinary processes,” said Ngatjizeko.
The minister was worried that some law enforcement agents cannot abide by the laws they have taken an oath to enforce.
“If a law enforcer lacks discipline, how will that person help the rest of the country?” queried the minister.
He urged law enforcers to guard against all those who are tarnishing the good image of the police force.
On his part Inspector General Ndeitunga said: “I, therefore, encourage all of us here in supervisory positions in the structures of the force to take up this challenge to improve the situation for the better.”
He said policing is a delicate and complex profession; hence, the police always strive to recruit people who meet the set requirements, especially Namibian men and women who have no criminal records.
“This is purposely done to promote a high level of discipline and honesty and enable officers to effectively deliver quality services to all people in Namibia without compromise in upholding the tenets of law and order,” Ndeitunga said.
He said the precarious situation calls for serious intervention from the side of all stakeholders.
Ndeitunga also stated that despite a significant reduction in general crime, serious crime in the country, particularly gender-based violence, rape, murder, armed robbery, poaching and illicit dealing in or consumption of drugs have become an everyday matter of concern.
During January to September 2012, a total of 2 046 serious crimes were recorded and about 711 suspects were arrested; while during the same period in 2013, 2 231 serious crimes were recorded and 1 077 people arrested.
By Mathias Haufiku