NAMIBIAN law enforcement agencies will redouble their efforts to combat crime and the spread of the coronavirus when the second phase of Operation Namib Desert starts on Wednesday.
The Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, announced that the renewed joint crime fighting initiative by members of the Namibian Police, the Namibian Defence Force, members of the Namibian Correctional Service and other law enforcement agencies in the national security cluster during a briefing on crime statistics.
The general said that when compared to the 68 days before lockdown regulations were introduced, crime in general has reduced as a result of the State of Emergency. He said serious crime reduced with 16.5% during the period under review.
A total 1 639 serious crimes were recorded nationally before the lockdown, but this number dropped to 1 369 after the introduction of the State of Emergency.
According to the general murder cases dropped from 51 cases before the State of Emergency to 28 afterwards. He said the same trend was observed with rape cases that dropped from 175 to 93, while assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm dropped from 503 to 266 registered cases.
Ndeitunga stated that the overall reduction in crime is a result of increased visibility of the members of the Security Cluster during the State of Emergency.
Besides the reduction in overall national serious crime statistics, Ndeitunga said that some regions, such as the Erongo Region, as well as the //Karas, Oshikoto and Zambezi regions recorded an increase in serious crimes, such as housebreaking at business premises, fraud, stock theft and possession or dealing in drugs during the lockdown.
During the period under review, all regions recorded a decrease in assault GBH cases, compared to the earlier period.
The Oshana Region on the other hand recorded an increase of 1% in gender-based violence cases during Stage 1.
He added that in Stage 1, which started on 28 March 2020 and ended on 04 May 2020, the most violated regulation was the one relating to the Prohibition of the sale of alcohol, for which 734 suspects were issued with fines.
The least violated regulation was the Prohibition related to travel (to enter or depart from a restricted area), for which 28 suspects were fined.
A total number of 904 violations of regulations were recorded during Stage 1.
Until Friday last week, a total number of 510 violations were recorded during Stage 2.
Ndeitunga also announced that as the country forges ahead with curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic under Stage 3 of the State of Emergency, the police will also continue with its joint crime prevention “Operation Namib Desert” Phase 2, which will commence on 3 June 2020.