Ndeitunga moves to limit lockdown arrests

31 March 2020 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has urged his officers to rather issue spot fines or release offenders with warnings, as the possibility of overflowing police cells during the coronavirus lockdown looms.

Following the outbreak of the deadly virus, government introduced a string of regulations that include arrest or a N$5 000 spot fine for violating the lockdowns in the Khomas and Erongo regions. Those found selling or drinking alcohol in the streets face similar penalties countrywide

This has led to fears that jail cells will become overcrowded, leaving inmates unable to implement social distancing.

“I really urge the police officers on duty to look at other means other than arresting people for violating regulations.

“They must try and give fines in most cases or release people with warnings; let them defend their case in court without being jailed.

“Right now, we are really faced with a serious lack of facilities and we can only pray that no one is infected in those cells that are already overcrowded,” Ndeitunga said.

Al Jazeera last week reported that United States attorney-general William Barr recommended the release of at-risk inmates to home confinement for the remainder of their sentences, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus in that country.

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