Community policing reduces crime

by Roland Routh

Community policing reduces crime


During a courtesy visit to the Windhoek City Police head office in Windhoek by the CEO of New Era Publications Corporation (NEPC), Dr Audrin Mathe, accompanied by Toivo Ndjebela, the managing editor of NEPC, Chief of City Police Abraham Kanime revealed that City Police produces a detailed crime analysis on a 28-day cycle.

This enables them to identify areas of concern and activate containment measures. During a presentation on the crime statistics it was said one such area of concern was behind Otjomuise Fire Brigade, where notorious robbers operate.

During a subsequent operation with the Namibian police, one of the robbers was arrested and – while his accomplices are still at large – no major incidences have been recorded in the area since.

Kanime said this approach came about with the assistance of the Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada since 2008, as represented by Deputy Chief Constable (Rtd) Richard Lucy. Kanime said this approach enabled them to set up statistics to compare various types of crime and the locations where they occur and to prepare accordingly.

He said City Police conducts bi-weekly discussions on the statistics and the media can be useful in disseminating this information to the public at large. Dr Mathe assured Kanime that he can count on NEPC to disseminate the information. But, he said, in order for the media to play an effective role, it needs correct and factual information.

Kanime said the City Police have moved away from the traditional way of policing towards an era of community policing and this is where the media can be an asset to get the message across.

According to him, they divided crime into four main focus points. This comprises violent crimes, property crimes such as housebreaking, road safety issues such as road crashes, and crash prevention.

Kanime said he refers to vehicle accidents as crashes, because many are not really accidents, but crashes, 99 percent of which are due to the attitude of drivers.

They are also looking at the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty and substance abuse, among others. Other programmes that Old Mutual is helping with include the Community Games, which focuses on sporting events and leadership programmes.

City Police spokesperson Cillie Auala said recognising the exemplary efforts and service of City Police officers and other employees is done by nominating and voting for an overall employee of the month and a special constable of the month.

Members of the public are free to nominate any City Police officer they feel deserve it, she said.
The cooperation between Old Mutual and City Police started in September last year with a contribution of N$200 000. The amount was increased this year to N$250 000, Auala also announced.

Superintendent Gerry Shikesho said they rely on timely and accurate information to act promptly.
According to available statistics, violent crimes have dropped by 1 percent compared to the corresponding period last year when 4 025 violent crimes were reported in comparison to 4 002 this year. However, it was stated, that property-related crimes increased by 5 percent from 11 190 cases over the same period last year to 11 251 this year.

Breaking down the crimes it was noted that armed robberies decreased from 839 last year to 800 this year with a target of 76.

While they aim for zero crimes, it was said, the reality is that crime will be committed and the City Police therefore set targets for reducing various crime incidents.

In relation to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, it was said, the aim is to reduce this to no more than 180 per month, but the reality is that 1 995 cases were reported thus far this year – up from 1 931 cases last year.

This was mainly attributed to alcohol abuse, especially where people are carrying knives and in this respect they asked for the public’s assistance by refraining from using knives to settle disputes.

They mentioned a case whereby a shebeen owner in one of the informal settlements conducted bodysearches of people coming into her establishment and confiscated all knives and dangerous weapons to hand to the City Police.

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