Gender-based violence (GBV), house-breaking and theft are the most common crimes committed in the southern region during both last year and this year.
Revealing this in an interview with New Era, //Karas Nampol Acting Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner Julia Sakuwa, said from January to October this year 366 cases of GBV were reported, a notable drop from 450 cases reported in the same period last year.
Although there is a drop in GBV cases she was concerned this might not entirely reflect the reality, adding that many GBV cases remain unreported, a trend she said is worrisome.
“GBV is an indoor crime and if the public don’t come and report cases to the police then we won’t know about these cases,” she said.
She pointed out that many people involved in GBV are quick to withdraw such cases against perpetrators, saying because GBV usually takes place among close family members or people in relationships, many feel that it’s not proper to keep their loved ones locked up and thus withdraw the case.
She said in many instances the offenders are also the breadwinners and this makes it difficult, as families depend on them and they feel it will do them no good if these offenders are behind bars.
House-breaking and theft come in second as the most committed crimes in the region with about 234 cases this year, compared to 197 last year, while Keetmanshoop has overtaken Lüderitz as the town with the most cases of house-breaking and theft.
Keetmanshoop this year reported 105 cases compared to only 35 last year, while Lüderitz has 50 reported cases compared to 79 cases reported last year.
Sakuwa also revealed that for the same period, 15 people have been killed in the region this year, while 17 were killed last year.
She said drugs are also a common crime, with most suspects mostly caught in possession of cannabis and mandrax, while cocaine is usually confiscated while in transit to other regions.
The commander pointed out that the public are unwilling to work with the police and barely attend meetings called by the police for information-sharing purposes.
She says unlike in other regions where initiatives such as the Women and Men Network has proved to be a success in curbing crime, these are almost non-existent in the region.
“There is reluctance from members of the public to work together with the police and we have tried to go door to door to try and talk to them but to no avail,” she said of residents’ resistance to work with the police.
Sakuwa pleaded with residents to help the police fight crime, especially during the fast approaching festive season, saying this is the time of the year that crime is on the rise and further warned the public to refrain from excessive drinking, and drinking and driving, which might lead to loss of lives.