Concern over obese police officers

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WINDHOEK – Some members of the public are concerned that obesity among police officers could prevent them from executing their duties.

Though there are no statistics available to show how many police force members are overweight it is easy to spot uniformed members who are portly.

Police spokesman Inspector Slogan Matheus however downplayed the issue of obesity in the force saying the Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga only appoints physically fit recruits into the ranks of the force.

He insisted that in terms of standing regulations members of the police force are also encouraged to participate in sports to ensure they are fit.

Though Matheus said there are programmes in place to ensure members of the force are fit he failed to indicate what measures are in place to ensure the police do not become flabby or potbellied, as this would slow them down in their duties.

“Thus, during employment, all potential candidates are strictly subjected to a medical examination to establish that he or she does not suffer or have any physical or mental defect, disease or ailment which will impair his or her ability to undergo any form of training, or perform his or her duties,” Matheus added.

“This is a peremptory statutory requirement, which we do not waive or relax under any circumstances,” he continued.

Matheus said section 30 of the police regulations serves to encourage members to participate in sports activities, in order to enhance fitness levels.

“Additionally, during our on-the-job training programs the courses offered at our colleges involve a component of physical training,” he said.

Matheus further said the inspector general has declared every Wednesday afternoon from 14h00 to 17h00 as a sports time for athletics which involve tug-of-war, soccer, netball and volleyball.

Every year the Namibian Police Force holds police annual championships, where members from all the 14 regions compete in various sports activities.

The aim is for team building and networking, but more importantly to enhance the mental capacity and physical fitness of members.
“Therefore we now have regional teams that participate in local leagues such as football, netball, volleyball, boxing, darts and athletics,” he stated.

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