Judicial

Police are not permitted to ‘panel beat’ civilians: Kawana

Summary

Police officers just like those who occupy public offices should be servants of the people and should serve their community to the best of their abilities, Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Albert Kawana has said.Kawana who ma…

Police officers just like those who occupy public offices should be servants of the people and should serve their community to the best of their abilities, Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Albert Kawana has said.

Kawana who made the remarks in a speech delivered on his behalf at the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of Namibian Police Day at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, added that police officers are expected to comply with the letter and spirit of the Namibian Constitution and they must ensure that they contribute to the promotion of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

“They are not permitted to panel beat civilians, they are only allowed to exercise minimum force or proportionate force as per their training, we will only succeed to fight crime if we have the confidence and trust of the community we serve,” he said.

Kawana said the recruitment of police reservists can enable the force to identify criminals and bring them to justice with no delay.

“I have noted with satisfaction the involvement of police volunteers, this approach is commendable because police volunteers live among the community; they are able to identify criminals with ease since they are part and parcel of the community. I urge more community members to volunteer as community police,” said Kawana.

In a speech also read on his behalf Namibian Police Force Inspector General, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga said the general crime situation in the country remains under control, citing that the nature in which some crimes are committed and their prevalence is a matter of concern.

He added that in recent months the country has experienced a rapid increase in the occurrence of crime such as gender-based violence, rape, murders, assaults, drug and human trafficking, stock theft and robberies targeting businesses, individuals and cash-in-transit vehicles.

Ndeitunga revealed that for the 2020-2021 financial year (FY) 92 251 cases were reported to the police, while 178 987 cases were brought forward from the previous FY, bringing the total cases for the 2020-2021 FY to 271 238. Of these, 105 634 were cleared.

“Crime statistics should not just be treated as mere statistics, commanders should analyse carefully the crime trends in their areas of jurisdiction, so as to make informed decisions on how to address crime onward. Crime analysis is a very effective tool which can assist commanders to easily pre-empt the crimes that are likely to occur in specific areas at a given time, then devise strategies to prevent them from occurring,” he urged.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency