Security cluster shares challenges

The police are struggling to enforce public health regulations while officers themselves are booked off with Covid-19.

03 August 2021 | Police And Crime

LEANDREA LOUW

WALVIS BAY

The security cluster continues to face challenges in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy commissioner Tobias Gerber briefed the minister of home affairs, Dr Albert Kawana, as well as the inspector-general of the police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, who were on an official two-day mission to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

Gerber said that as of 31 July, 129 Nampol officers, 58 Namibia Defence Force members and 45 Namibia Correctional Services (NCS) personnel members were deployed to eight towns in the Erongo Region, along with 16 vehicles.

Covid cases

He said four members from Nampol and five from NCS were in quarantine at the moment.

“The cumulative number of members that were in quarantine (self and mandatory) is 55, including five members from NCS.”

He added that the cumulative number of positive Covid-19 cases among members was 58 from Nampol, five from NCS, and one each from NCS and Immigration.

“There are currently 22 active cases from Nampol and one from NCS. Nampol has also lost three members to Covid-19,” he said.

Among awaiting-trial inmates, there have been 13 Covid cases at Swakopmund, 23 at Omaruru and one at Narraville.

“There are currently three active cases in Swakopmund among awaiting-trial inmates and one active case in Narraville. A total of 33 inmates have recovered from Covid-19 at Swakopmund and Omaruru. No deaths have occurred.”

Challenges

Gerber said disease transmission in informal settlements and shopping areas remains a challenge.

“This is due to overcrowding and minimal space. The administrative environment, such as the charge office and travelling permits office, remains the main source of transmission. Self-care remains the best tool against infection.”

He also highlighted several other challenges faced by the security cluster.

“We have a lack of transport for patrols, and a lack of airtime for communication or radio communication. It’s time the police revert to old-fashioned radio communication. There’s a lack of operational funds for servicing, repair and petty expenses and there’s a lack of truck ports to accommodate foreign truckers.”

Contravening regulations

Gerber reported that 76 cases were opened, and 202 people were arrested for contravening the curfew regulation.

“Most of the offenders were on their way to or from private parties where alcohol was involved. Alcohol abuse normally leads to undisciplined and ignorant behaviour. Other offences recorded are related to those selling alcohol illegally after hours or on closed days.”

N$57 000 was paid in fines for curfew violations and N$10 000 was paid in bail.

In terms of regulations pertaining to the prohibition of alcohol, 16 cases were opened and 16 people were arrested. A total of N$6 000 was paid in bail.

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