WINDHOEK City Police chief Abraham Kanime said the biggest challenge facing law enforcement in the capital is community members who disregard the rule of law.
Kanime stressed that it is the community that creates an avenue for crime to thrive in the capital.
Speaking on Desert Radio yesterday, Kanime called members of the community to desist from buying stolen goods.
“In terms of crime in our community, when it comes to housebreaking and theft, and the items that are stolen from the houses, they are being sold within the community.
“The challenge there is that it is the community that is creating a market. And on robberies, in most cases the targets are cash-in-transit vehicles or businesses with huge amounts of money. Still the problem is all those opportunities are created by the community,” Kanime said.
Human behaviour also threatens road safety in the city, he said.
“If we move to road safety, it’s clear what is expected from us, like don’t drink and drive, don’t use a cellphone [while driving], and don’t speed. But we are still doing it. The same applies to the by-laws.
“The attitude of our community to disregard the rule of law is the main challenge.
If the community obeys the rules set on each area of our livelihood, I tell you that we don’t even need to spend much on that,” he said.
Kanime warned that the city police have resolved to go after drivers who disregard traffic rules by jumping red lights.
He said the police are using CCTV cameras at busy intersections across the city to photograph vehicles that are driven through red lights. Officers in the monitoring centre take note of number plates and prepare fines, he said.
“What I want to tell the people is that we have moved to the area of technology in dealing with those skipping red robots,” he said.
The campaign is being carried out during the day at some of the busiest intersections in efforts to prevent serious accidents, he said.
Drunken driving is also a major concern for the police.
Kanime said the city police have resolved to conduct random breath testing on the city’s roads.
“The strategy in 2023 and on a daily basis is once you’re stopped by a police officer, you should be tested irrespective of the time of the day.
Previously, we were only doing it after an accident but now we will do it randomly,” he said.
Kanime also expressed concern about the high rate of gender-based violence (GBV) in Windhoek.
“GBV is one of the areas that concerns us the most.
We have a dedicated team that focuses on GBV, mostly giving support and linking up the victims with those who have responsibilities, like the health ministry and the gender equality ministry,” he said.
The city police last year launched a programme meant to cement good relationships with the community to detect incidents of GBV before they occur.
“We rely on the community to help us fight GBV. And at this point in time, it has reached a high level.
Therefore, we’re encouraging members of the public to report any sign of poor relationship or family breakdown to the police, so we can intervene [proactively],” he said.