The senior command of the Namibian police force from all fourteen regions of the country are currently attending their annual conference underway in Lüderitz to strategise on how to address existing and emerging challenges and setbacks.
Speaking at the event Inspector General of the Namibian police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said the main objective of this year’s conference is to assess the level of implementation of the resolutions of the previous conference, to identify new challenges and setbacks, and to strategise on how best to address existing and emerging challenges.
He also revealed that the number of criminal cases recorded during the financial year 2014/2015 represents a reduction of 1 268 cases compared to the number of cases recorded in the 2013/2014 financial year.
Ndeitunga expressed concern over the persistent threat posed by gender-based violence (GBV), which continues unabated across Namibia, posing a serious threat to the public and indeed presents a major challenge to the police.
The senior command meeting is being held under the theme, ‘Making Great Strides to Eradicating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Namibia’.
Ndeitunga said in this regard, legislation should also be formulated to prevent the carrying of dangerous weapons, especially at recreational facilities.
“It is imperative to seriously consider the urgent amendment of the Firearms and Ammunition Act. A draft of this amendment Act is already being considered by the Ministry of Justice, which will soon be tabled in parliament.
“I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that all parliamentarians will agree unanimously to have an unarmed Namibian society. It is my view that the Namibian nation will take a firm stand and support the process of disarming the heavily-armed Namibian society,” Ndeitunga stated.
Ndeitunga, who is also the Interpol vice president for Africa, noted that drug and alcohol abuse are contributing factors to violent crimes. Therefore, the mushrooming of shebeens, the operating hours and clearly demarcated areas of operation need to be clearly regulated and stiffer sentences for offenders considered, he suggested.
He also noted with concern the surge in poaching in the country, especially of rhino and elephants, which are hunted for their horns and tusks, particularly in the national parks.
As a consequence, the police have combined forces with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism – the custodian of the wildlife resources – so as to more effectively combat poaching.
Ndeitunga praised the combined efforts of the police and the ministry of environment, saying their cooperation has resulted in a general decrease in poaching incidents.
He also mentioned that over the past year 5 995 members were promoted and that during the 2014-2015 financial year the police force recruited 2 716 new staff.
Ndeitunga indicated that the police are also gearing up for the forthcoming regional and local authority elections and, as such, they are ready to discharge their duties to ensure Namibians can exercise their democratic rights in an environment of peace and tranquillity.
The police force has also not been left out in terms of Information Communication Technology development and has recently redesigned its website and social media platforms to improve communication with the general public.
Similarly, the force successfully rolled out its e-policing technology platform, linking the police national headquarters with stations in all 14 regions of the country in order to improve service delivery.
The five-day conference started on Monday and will conclude on Friday.