THE first weekend of the holiday season at the coast started with the arrest of seven people who were found driving vehicles while under the influence of intoxicating substances.
According to Warrant Officer Ileni Shapumba, Commander of the Community Affairs Division of the Namibian Police in the Erongo Region, four of the suspected drunken drivers were arrested in Walvis Bay while two people were caught in Swakopmund. The seventh suspected drunken driver was arrested in Karibib.
He confirmed that the amount that people will have to pay to receive bail after being arrested for drunken driving was recently increased to N$8 000 for Namibian citizens while foreign visitors will have to fork out N$9 000 to be set free on bail from the police office.
Warrant Officer Shapumba said several other people were taken into custody for transgressions of road and traffic acts. Some did not have their driver’s licenses with them while others displayed fake license discs on their vehicles.
“There is an increase in numbers of cases pertaining to the displaying of fake license disks and this is serious offence. The drivers of such vehicles will be arrested and detained in Police holding cells for period not exceeding 48 hours as the case may be before appearing in court,” he said
He said that 22 people were charged this year in Swakopmund area and another one in Karibib.
“So far a limited number of accidents were reported and it is important that we continue to remind each other to continue exercising patience and responsibility on the road to prevent accident at all times.”
Warrant Officer Shapumba said people should plan well in advance and ensure that their vehicles are fit to be on the road before undertaking any trip. He said officers will be focussing on vehicle fitness at checkpoints.
“If we for instance find worn tyres at our road traffic check points, the driver will not only be fined, but the person will also not be allowed to drive any further unless such a tyre is replaced.”
In the meantime members of the joint task force participating in Operation Kalahari Desert in the residential areas of Walvis Bay confiscated several dangerous weapons from people while executing stop and search activities.
“Most of the weapons, which include knives and other sharp objects, were confiscated at places of entertainment.”
“We suspect that these knives are mostly used during robberies and other assault related crimes.”
Warrant Office Shapumba said people do not have any real reason for carrying dangerous weapons especially when the go to clubs or bars and should stop with the practice to avoid trouble with members of the joint task force.