Khorixas police station without a vehicle
The Khorixas Police Station is currently operating without a service vehicle, and the situation has deteriorated so much that police officers have to escort inmates to the hospital by foot.
The office has been without a vehicle for two months now, despite a request for a vehicle to be stationed at the police station, a police officer speaking under anonymity told The Villager.
“It is really frustrating and it is also a risk to escort trial awaiting suspects on foot to the hospital when they are sick. The most embarrassing part is when we have to tell people that call to report crime that there is no vehicle to attend to their calls.”
“We had a difficult time during December as many people had come in from different towns. Sometimes we had to use our private vehicles and sometimes we had to use the vehicle that is meant for investigations, which is based in Opuwo,” he said.
A community activist, Romeo Nauseb said that criminals have taken advantage of the lack of resource at the town’s police station.
“Criminals know when and where to strike exactly. They are now aware that the police are operating without a vehicle for about two months now and the crime rate has increased drastically especially in the informal settlement.”
“Another issue is the lack of discipline amongst officers that are stationed at the police station. They do not know how to talk to the community when they attend to complaints. They are being bossy,” Nauseb said.
Nauseb also concurred that the situation is dangerous for police officers and the community.
“Just imagine the distance these officers have to walk with the suspects. Who knows what can happen? The suspects can plot to escape because sometimes only two or three officers are escorting more than six trial-awaiting prisoners.”
Another member of the community Anna-Marie Howoses said that she had to use her vehicle to pick up the police at the station after her house was broken into.
“It is an unbelievable situation we have here. I had to pick them up to come and investigate. I did not open a case because I do not think it is worth it. How will these poor officers investigate this kind of crime on foot? It is just impossible. The government must do something about the situation,” she fumed.
When contacted for a comment, NamPol regional crime coordinator for Kunene deputy commissioner Bob Kanyetu declined to comment on the issue.
“I cannot comment on the matter. You will have to call the regional commander but you can do so only tomorrow because he will be in a meeting the whole day. He will be able to give you a comment on the matter,” he said.