THE fact that most people are staying at home as per the directives of the State of Emergency has seen a decrease in certain crimes such as burglary and domestic violence.
The commander of the National Joint Operations Centre that was set up to coordinate agencies of the national law enforcement cluster’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Commissioner Christoph Nakanyala, said that at the same time, 131 people were issued with fines for transgressing the rules and regulations set down during the State of Emergency proclamation.
“Compliance during the first week of the State of Emergency was challenging, however, as time progressed and as we found our feet in enforcing the new rules the operation started to run smoothly. People realised that the rules were implemented for their own safety and listened to the members of joint patrols when requested to go to their homes for instance,” Commissioner Nakanyala said during a briefing at the National COVID-19 Information Centre.
He was of the opinion that the decrease in certain crimes can be ascribed to the fact that people are staying at home while a larger number of patrols are on duty in residential areas which minimises opportunities for criminals to strike.
Nakanyala further noted that the fact that incidences of domestic violence decreased in the Khomas Region is the result of the banning of the sale of alcohol while the State of Emergency is in effect.
Across Namibia, 131 people were issued with fines while in contravention of regulations set down in the State of Emergency proclamation.
“Of this number, 98 people received fines for selling alcohol, 14 received fines for attending or organising public gatherings where more than 10 people attended and 19 were fined for ignoring orders given by law enforcement officers while roaming the streets outside their homes or travelling,” he explained.
According to Nakanyala, the regulation to halt the sale of alcohol was the most difficult to enforce while people roaming the streets are also still posing challenges for officers on patrol.
He said people gathering in large numbers to mourn a person who died is still a cause for concern.
Nakanyala explains that the Namibian Police has also taken drastic steps to prevent the potential outbreak of COVID-19 among prisoners.
“Space in the holding cells is limited and therefore the continuous management and monitoring of prisoners is a high priority,” he said.
Commissioner Nakanyala said that the visiting of inmates was suspended and that new inmates are kept separately and screened for symptoms of COVID-19 on admission to the holding facility.
He added that the current quarantine measures applicable to civilians have been adapted to manage imamates and the way they are incarcerated.
He further indicated that people accused of serious crimes are locked up in separate designated areas made available in jails by the Correctional Services.