Majority of Namibians feel unsafe – report

Ellanie Smit
Namibia is ranked among war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Congo where people feel the least safe. The majority of Namibians polled by an international organisation say they do not feel safe walking alone in the streets, while the country has again been ranked as one of the worst when it comes to law and order. The global polling group Gallup recently published the results of its latest poll on crime and policing in 120 countries.

Overall, Namibia got a law-and-order score of 65. This is a slight improvement from last year’s 62, and made Namibia the 12th worst country in the world when it comes to safety. Gallup’s latest results are based on interviews with more than 127 000 adults in the 120 countries in 2021. The group asked people about the level of crime in their area, how safe they felt walking the streets and how much confidence they had in the police. It then compiled the results into scores out of 100 and created an index, ranking each country by its overall law and order.

The lowest ranked countries on the index are Afghanistan, Gabon, Venezuela, Congo and Sierra Leone, while the top performers are Singapore, Tajikistan, Norway, Switzerland and Indonesia.

Safe on the street

According to the report, a mere 41% of Namibians feel safe walking alone on the streets. Here, Singapore scored 96% and Afghanistan just 22%. The countries in which residents are least likely to say they feel safe walking alone at night are exclusively a mix of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa — “which tends to be the case each year”.

Nearly seven in 10 people worldwide in 2021 said they feel safe walking alone at night where they live (71%) and have confidence in their local police (70%). During the period 2020/2021, a total of 92 251 criminal cases were reported in Namibia.

Of these, the Khomas, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions recorded the highest crime rates, representing 34%, 11% and 8% respectively.

Overall, 308 cases of murder, 1 205 cases of rape, 418 cases of robbery with a firearm, 4 445 domestic violence cases, 461 attempted murder cases, 256 cases of pointing of firearms, 13 cases of trafficking in persons, 3 160 stock theft cases, 2 115 cases of illicit drugs, 196 cases of arson, 7 487 cases of housebreaking of residential premises, and 403 cases of the theft of motor-vehicles were recorded.