Police patrol: Ministers experience nightlife

Large-scale disregard for curfew

13 July 2021 | Crime

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Justice minister Yvonne Dausab and deputy information minister Emma Teofelus joined police officers on street patrols in Windhoek over the weekend in a bid to get first-hand experience about the challenges police face to maintain law and order.

Before embarking on the patrol, Dausab addressed the joint operation members and urged them to act in a manner that is reasonable and fair at all times.

One of the key observations, Dausab said, is the illegal sale of alcohol and failure to wear masks.

“Some people also don't have regard for authority. General behaviour towards the police includes backchatting and questioning their authority when all they doing is enforcing the regulations.

If people do the simple things such as wear their masks when in public and stay home when there is no compelling reason to be out on the streets, the police can actually focus on general maintenance of law and order and crime prevention,” she said.

During the operation, Dausab said the police were generally professional and understanding when people explained their behaviour.

She said: “I have also seen some members of our public recognising that they were wrong and being pliant or those who were home or on the street generally complying with the health protocols”.

Struggling with curfew

The justice minister added, however, that the public seemed to “genuinely or deliberately struggle with the adjustment of curfew times”.

“We find some people still having their home shops and even at some market places open and selling.

“This I find unfortunate because people must make an effort to plan their time properly to ensure they and their customers have enough time to get home and comply with the curfew time,” she said.

“After the clock hit 21:00, the police focused on those on the streets without a valid reason in terms of the regulations.

Even when people were confined, the commissioner announced people must keep their masks on and maintain social distancing.”

Worrisome

Meanwhile, Teofelus said it was worrisome that there was no compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

“We still have challenges with public compliance. Many people continue to roam the streets aimlessly in large numbers without wearing their masks and social distancing; others continue to hold private gatherings with more than 10 people and they too do not wear masks consistently or correctly or social distance,” she said.

She urged members of the public to adhere to the regulations.

“I implore the citizens to please comply with the regulations if we are to make headway in overcoming this pandemic. I think we can all agree that we cannot take any more deaths and hospitalisations of our loved ones,” Teofelus said.