New Khomas police commander David Indongo says the police are not the enemy of the public and should not be feared.
However, he called on criminals to pursue alternative occupations as crime will become hard labour under his watch.
He told New Era this while visiting the Wanaheda police station on Monday.
Indongo, who was //Kharas regional commander, replaced Ismael Basson, who has been deployed to Omusati.
“The role of the police is to police and promote order and security, not to instil fear among the public. We come from your houses. Being a police officer is just someone who was transformed from a civilian and became a member of the police. There should thus be no enmity. We are just doing our noble task,” he observed.
Indongo, who is on a familiarisation trip around Windhoek police stations for the first time since he assumed office two months ago, said the visit is now concentrating on Windhoek, but he would check in with other stations outside the capital to cover the entire region.
The Wanaheda police station was the fifth on the commander’s agenda, having in recent weeks visited the Windhoek, Katutura, Otjomuise and Klein Windhoek police stations.
Indongo described this programme as one aimed to interact with his police station commanders and share policing education. It is also to hear from the commanders, saying, “it is not a one-man show.”
He is taking stock of the office he is presiding over, and making assessments on the way forward of challenges and setbacks that may appear as possible hindrances to smooth policing in the region.
“Police stations’ challenges are unique due to geographical locations. For instance, the Wanaheda police station is in zone one or a red zone, which means this station is located where crime is committed the most, and the challenge is a shortage of manpower,” explained Indongo.
He said the population of the Moses Garoeb constituency is over 60 000, and the Wanaheda station is policing 176 196 inhabitants while the number of police is 188. That means each police officer would technically be policing over 950 inhabitants.
Indongo also noted with concern that mobility at police stations is an issue as a number of police vehicles are grounded due to mechanical faults.
“Wanaheda, by law, was given 18 vehicles. Currently, there are only four cars which are in operation, and this is what is infringing on our effective response to crime in the constituency,” he continued.
As new regional commander, he is aware that Windhoek has a high crime rate, from murder, rape, robbery and housebreaking. He again made a call to all those who are involved in criminal activities to “resign” from such activities.
“The police cannot do it alone. Together with the public, we will arrest crime in Windhoek and Khomas at large. The public knows where criminals live, some even sponsor theft, asking criminals to get them cell phones and TVs. In that way, they are spearheading crime. However, during my tenure, I will make criminals live an unbearable life. Criminals must realise it is going to be hard labour to be one,” committed Indongo.
He furthermore called on the public to make it a culture to report crime, especially concealed crimes, and encouraging the public to shy away from covering up domestic crimes.
Churches, schools and all inhabitants must police Namibia.
“Let us all be police. We in uniform can make it only if the police in civil clothes (public) is giving us support,” emphasised Indongo.
He encouraged the public to be vigilant of criminals as the festive season is approaching, urging them not to leave their houses unattended, or to notify their nearest police station to patrol.