Cops need dogs, horses to fight crime

12 March 2020 | Police

The police's canine (K9) unit is in dire need of more dogs and horses to help fight crime, especially at airports and border posts ­countrywide.

This according to police inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga, who was speaking at the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week with farmer unions, aimed at protecting farmers through patrols.

He said currently the force only has eight dogs out of the 30 to 40 required to help fight crime.

“We are facing the lack of dogs and horses in the K9 unit to assist police officers when they are pursuing criminals who run into places that are not easily accessible to human beings,” he said.

Ndeitunga said the police need to have dogs at every entry and exit point of the country, to help detect substances that cannot be immediately seen with the naked eye or by a machine, especially substances carried in trucks.

“We need to have dogs at every border post and airport to help the human capacity. Sometimes when we are patrolling in the suburbs, criminals run into the mountains and this is where dogs are needed the most to pursue criminals,” said Ndeitunga. He said the lack of dogs is caused by budget constraints, adding that some dogs are ageing and have become ineffective as they can't detect anything or run after a fleeing criminal.

The police chief said they have training facilities in various towns around the country and also have a MoU with the University of Namibia (Unam) to train and maintain dogs.

He noted that this is expensive as one dog can cost up to N$50 000 or more to train and maintain, and the training lasts between 120 to 132 days, depending on how fast the dog can learn.

“We will appreciate anyone who wishes to donate dogs and horses to Nampol, preferably the German shepherd [breed],” Ndeitunga said.

Dogs are trained on how to detect crimes, military explosives and illegal substances like narcotics, mandrax, cocaine and cannabis.