OTJIWARONGO: The Otjiwarongo police have raised concern about the sharp increase in house break-ins here.
The police called a meeting with members of the public at Swanevelder Community Hall on Wednesday evening to discuss ways in which they can curb the number of break-ins at the central town.
Otjiwarongo Police Station Commander, Chief Inspector Francis Makata singled out the Orwetoveni residential area as having recorded a high number of burglary cases in the past few months.
“House break-ins and theft have become matters of concern to us, especially cases coming from the Orwetoveni residential area,” he noted.
The station commander said although the presence of police, reservists and neighbourhood watch members have resulted in a decrease in crimes such as thefts from vehicles and house break-ins in the Extension Five residential area and central business district, a lot remains to be done in Orwetoveni.
He urged Orwetoveni residents to work with the police, and to report any suspicious movements at neighbours’ properties.
Makata said the task of combating crime in the country is not only the responsibility of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), but for all able-bodied persons who can render their assistance in whatever form possible.
He then addressed teenagers roaming the streets of the Orwetoveni residential area at night and who sit around on pavements, to abstain from such behaviour.
During the meeting some Orwetoveni residents also shot back at the police, criticising them for issues such as their failure to respond in a timeous fashion when called to a crime scene.
The 25-year-old Lapita Ndaendapo said she called the police station in June and July this year to report a burglary at her neighbour’s house.
She said in both cases the police arrived hours after she made the calls, arriving four hours later in June, and three hours later during the July incident.
Theophelius Gaeseb, 53, on his part complained about the lack of police visibility on the streets of Orwetoveni at night.
“Once you manage to close down the shebeens here you disappear. Intensify your night patrols in our streets so that you see the thieves for yourselves and arrest them,” he said.
He also suggested that the Orwetoveni Police Station start operating 24 hours a day instead of 08h00 to 17h00, as is currently the case.