Cops ready for action

20 August 2018 | Crime

Jana-Mari Smith

Windhoek's City Police traffic and crime prevention units have responded to the call of Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga to ensure more visible boots on the ground.

Senior Superintendent Adam Eiseb said the City Police falls under the command of the inspector general and is focusing on “a more penetrative” policing strategy in partnership with their Namibian police colleagues in line with Ndeitunga's demands.

“We are simply saying we need to follow the lead of the inspector general, and that is why you could be seeing more of us, especially at the times where the likelihood of criminal activities increases.”

During a series of briefings with staff last month, Ndeitunga spoke out against corruption, laziness and a lack of professionalism within police ranks. He argued that Namibians, including Windhoek residents are losing “trust and confidence in the police”.

At his talks with Windhoek police, he highlighted the high rates of murder, robberies and said the city is overrun by gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, illegal shebeens and pirate taxis in known hotspots. He demanded to hear what measures are in place to address these challenges and to ensure cops are at hand to tackle these issues.

Ndeitunga set a three month deadline for Khomas police to provide visible and statistical evidence of improved crime fighting by the end of October, demanding that all rank and file of the police, from senior to junior police, take urgent action and enhance crime fighting.

In line with Ndeitunga's demand, Eiseb said more members have been deployed at critical times and in critical areas, a move that has been commented on by Windhoek residents who noticed increased police presence on the roads in the past weeks.

He said although manpower remains the same, the police is focused on ensuring available manpower is dispatched to crucial areas at crucial times. “Whether it's to prevent crime or to assist with traffic, we are increasing our presence and alertness. It's a strategy to be more visible, and that is what people should expect from us.”

He said the new approach is “has no beginning and no end.”

He said suburbs that have shown a high risk of break-ins, shopping centres, legal gambling outlets, and shebeens all form part of the special focus on enhanced crime fighting.

Dual roles

Eiseb further emphasised that City Police officers undertake dual roles in their duties.

“Our approach is to combine traffic law enforcement with crime prevention and vice versa,” he said. “Generally you find that in a city, crimes are often closely associated with vehicles. Vehicles are used as a means of getting away or to also carry stolen goods.”

As such, when police stop vehicles for speeding or to inspect their road worthiness, they also conduct a search for items that could have been stolen or for implements that could be used to break into a house.

“When an officer pulls over a vehicle they not only focus on road safety, but also check to see if there is anything that may be related to a crime.”

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