Amnesty to hand in illegal firearms

03 September 2021 | Police

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

People who possess illegal firearms have been offered a one-month amnesty to surrender all unlicenced arms and ammunition without being prosecuted.

Speaking at the launch of the September Africa Amnesty Month, police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga said Namibia offered its first amnesty in 2016.

At that time, 1 276 firearms, 99 509 rounds of ammunition and 81 unexploded ordnances were handed over and have since been destroyed.

He said it is unfortunate that some firearms fall into the wrong hands and are used to commit crimes.

Gun crimes

According to him, during the 2018/2019 financial year, 50 murders involving firearms were committed, compared to 31 in 2019/2020 and 33 during the 2020/2021 financial year.

With regard to armed robberies involving firearms, 408 cases were recorded during 2018/2019 compared to 414 cases in 2019/2020 and 418 in 2020/2021.

“These statistics illustrate a slight increase in the crime of robbery with aggravating circumstances, a concern as it negatively affects our country both socially and economically,” Ndeitunga said.

He added that 158 cases of attempted murder with a firearm were reported during 2018/2019, increasing to 161 in 2019/2020 and decreasing slightly to 134 during 2020/2021.

Cases of pointing of firearms amounted to 362 during 2018/2019, while 301 were reported during 2019/2020 and 256 during 2020/2021.

Ndeitunga said 143 cases of theft of firearms were recorded during 2018/19, slightly decreasing to 123 during 2019/2020 and 114 during 2020/2021.

“These statistics are evident that crimes involving firearms are negatively affecting our country,” he said.

The police chief assured the public that the police would not arrest or charge anyone who surrenders unlicenced, unwanted or broken firearms during the month of September.

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