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Namoloh warns against police brutality

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:44
by Rodney Pienaar
News Flash

Following recent social media pictures of a badly beaten suspect who was apprehended by the Namibian Police in the Zambezi region, Minister of Safety and Security (MSS), Major General Charles Namoloh, told The Villager that, such beatings are not lawful.
“If there is anyone that has been assaulted by police officers, they should come forward and open cases. Of course, police can use a certain amount of force, called the minimum force. For instance, if the police go to arrest a suspect and the suspect fights the police officers, the police can use batons to bring the suspect down with minimum force. Not so that the suspect has to bleed and (get) all swollen. The law does not permit such beatings on suspects”, Namoloh said.
He added, police officers are not allowed to use their status to intimidate citizens on behalf of their relatives.  
‘’Even if he or she is a good police officer, we don’t allow that within police morale value. If anybody is aware of such a case they should come forward and report it, because it is not allowed’’, Namoloh said.
He added: “Police officers are there to uphold the universal law whether being in a remote area or in a city. Any police officer who commits crime will be charged and prosecuted.”
According to Namoloh, the MSS follow up the sms lines and the media reports about police brutality, but most of reports turns out to be rumors and only few cases turn out to be true. Once convicted police officers are also treated the same as any other inmate.
‘’The only special precaution taken for police officers is when they are awaiting trail, when they have been accused. They are locked up in a special cell alone, not with other trail awaiting prisoners because of fear that they might get beat up. That is just one of many reasons. But in prison every prisoner is protected there is no special treatment in prison’’, Namoloh said.
Last month The Villager wrote that NamPol has spent N$61 million in civil claims during the financial year 2014/15. According to the latest statistics, Nampol sustained losses in damages of up to N$8 million from vehicle crashes last year, while another N$62 555 worth of fire arms were lost by the police.
Last year alone, the police received 1 464 complaints against Nampol members, although the number has reduced from 2 075 complaints laid against the police in 2014. The police also suspended 40 cops last year due to various reasons, leading from internal misconduct to abuse of power as police officers.
In that same light, 751 departmental cases were reported against police officers. The Ministry of Safety and Security and the Nampol have established recreational services and methods to deter future acts of violations by members of the police.
A total of N$2,686,301,000.00 million was utilized for personnel expenditure.
During the period under review, the forces lost 314 members. This was due to resignation, retirement, death, discharge for being medically unfit, and transfers to other offices, Ministries and agencies (OMA’s).
A total of 2781 civilian staff members and cadet constables were recruited; while 5955 police officers were promoted to serve at different portfolios of higher responsibilities within the force
During the ended financial year, the Government procured 898 vehicles, five motorcycles, one field kitchen trailer and three water tank trailers; and decommission of 226 vehicles which became obsolete.
Crime statistics indicate that 87,216 cases were recorded during the 2014/15 financial, whereas 88,484 cases were recorded during 2013/14 financial year. The Nampol gender employment ratio currently stands at 64% male and 36 females.