Namibian police never learn

08 July 2020 | Opinion

Newspaper column inches have been exhausted with stories of victims of violence who were turned away by police and later got murdered.

In 2018, five members of a Rundu family were killed after the police were twice notified that a young man was acting violently towards other people in the house.

It was reported at the time that a female member of this family went to the police station twice earlier that day, but police officers, who were consistently on their mobile phones, chatting with their feet on the table, told her there were no vehicles.

As fate would have it, five people in that house, including minor children and their grandmother, were butchered. After learning of the killings, 12 police cars showed up at the scene.

Yesterday, we reported about a woman who decided to camp at a police station in Ondangwa because she refused to go back home, where an alleged abusive boyfriend awaited.

Lazy police officers, on a typical lazy Friday, told the victim to go back to the very place she fled from and to return on Monday this week. Not even the fact that she had her minor children with her moved the constables.

This means the woman could have endured an entire weekend of abuse, which could end in a fatality, as officers picked their noses waiting for knock-off time.

We have a police force that has no courage or empathy for the communities it serves. And as long as this attitude persists, we can forget about so-called safety and security as citizens.

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