Regional Commander for Omaheke Commissioner Josephat Abel has called on the wider community to assist the police to identify criminal elements in society. Commissioner Abel believes members of the public often shield criminals from law enforcement agencies, which renders the fight against crime more difficult.
The commissioner made the remarks during the regional launch of the national crime prevention initiative, ‘Operation Omake’, in the Omaheke Region recently.
“The police cannot patrol in the privacy of your bedrooms, so it is up to you to report crimes to the police for us to protect you and restore order. Avoid protecting criminals,” he said.
Gobabis residents, learners and the Gobabis Municipality joined members of the uniformed forces – including NamPol and the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) – in clearing bushes behind the town’s main sports stadium – the Legare Stadium.
Operation Omake is a joint effort between the Namibian police, Windhoek City police and the NDF. It was launched in November last year by Minister of Safety and Security Charles Namoloh. Omake is an Oshiwambo/Otjiherero word for hands, or to clap hands.
Operation Omake was established following a directive from President Hage Geingob to law enforcement agencies, including the City police, to intensify crime prevention initiatives and public safety operations aimed at combating crime, following the brutal slaying of the Kuaseua sisters (Cecilia and Jacqueline) in Khomasdal last October.
The directive includes the clearing of riverbeds and spaces that have become safe havens and hideouts for criminals, the installation of flood- and street-lights in crime-prone areas, the installation of additional CCTV cameras in crime-prone areas, and the strict enforcement of the Liquor Licensing Act.
Operation Omake was launched in Shandumbala, Katutura, last Monday and the NDF has been clearing riverbeds in an attempt to make inroads into the rising spate of criminality.
New Era previously reported that the community of Epako in Gobabis lives in constant fear of criminal gangs that continue to terrorise the township.
Incidents of robberies and attacks on residents by gang members are reported almost on a daily basis, according to the residents of Epako.