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Cops say ‘scream or run away’ when targeted by robbers

NATIONAL police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi says people should “scream, yell, or run away” when confronted by robbers and other dangerous criminals.

his comes as the public is increasingly at the mercy of armed robbers.

Shikwambi yesterday said in some instances serious injuries are inflicted on victims during robberies.

Earlier this week, a woman was robbed of her belongings by four unknown men while crossing a riverbed at Cimbebasia.

“Robberies are very unpredictable. Therefore, the broader public is cautioned to be vigilant while the police are intensifying their crime prevention operations,” she said.

Shikwambi said common sense is one’s best defence against any attack, which includes avoiding risky places and circumstances.

“If you are in trouble or feel you are in danger, don’t be afraid to ask for help in any way you can.

“Scream, yell or run away for safety,” she said, while also urging the public to report cases to the police.

Earlier this week, new police chief inspector general Joseph Shikongo said the police are gearing up towards implementing a countrywide operation to crack down on crime.

“We are coming back with a stronger operation [than the previous Operation Kalahari Desert], and we are not just going to be conducting it in Khomas, but will extend our operation to every corner of the country where crime is a concern.”

Shikongo was speaking at a farewell party for former Khomas police commander commissioner Ismael Basson, who has been transferred to head the Omusati region’s police. The event doubled as a welcome party for commissioner David Indongo, who has been transferred from the //Kharas region to the Khomas region.

Shikongo said members of the media would be invited to the launch of the operation.

“We want to make sure Namibia remains one of the safest countries in the world,” he said.

Some members of the public recently called on the police to bring back the joint police and NDF crime-busting Operation Kalahari Desert.

Windhoek resident Magret Kakoo says: “The force must return, but my fear is that they also abuse people. It would be better if they came back with just sjamboks to discipline these thieves.”

Havana resident Maria Japhet (27) after being robbed of her personal belongings, said the return of operation Kalahari Desert would be a dream come true.

“All these small boys you see walking on the streets are on a mission, and it does not matter what time of the day it is. I am sure if the soldiers came back to the streets, this would not happen,” she says.

Walvis Bay resident Petrus Iyambo says: “Criminals are terrorising us, especially women who are coming from the factories. We need a plan for the streets to be patrolled.” Although many residents are pleading for the return of the NDF, not all residents agree.

Windhoek resident Abed Uukunde says the police should find some other ways to reduce crime.

“So many times I have been abused for no reason. The one time I was coming from a shebeen, and I was beaten so badly for nothing,” he says.

Police spokesperson warrant officer Silas Shipandeni says the police are currently working on different strategies for setting up operations to reduce the high crime rate.

“We are not only focusing on Kalahari. That is just the name of an operation, but we do have other operations on the ground. The only thing we are looking at is to intensify those in existence,” he says.

Shipandeni says one of the strategies the police are considering is to use officers working from 08h00 to 17h00 for patrols.

“We are aware of the high crime rate, and we are working hard to ensure we fight it to the core,” he says.

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