Availability of cannabis a concern for Omaheke Police

14 May 2015 11:30am
GOBABIS, 13 MAY (NAMPA) - The widespread availability of drugs, especially cannabis, has proven a problem for the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Omaheke Region.
The Gobabis Police Public Relations Committee (PPRC) revealed in its monthly meeting on Wednesday that the use of cannabis has become a concern in the region.
Gobabis Control Magistrate, Johan Pienaar told the meeting that between four and five people are prosecuted on a daily basis for possession of cannabis.
Many such incidences are said to be occurring at Drimiopsis settlement, located 45 kilometres (km) north of Gobabis, and at the Trans-Kalahari Border Post.
The border post has also become a point of entry for illegal drugs that eventually make their way to Gobabis.
This border post is located at the Buitepos settlement, some 113km east of Gobabis.
Pienaar said 80 per cent of drug-related cases reported to the police in the region involves the possession of cannabis, mainly due to its wide availability in the region.
“We have only recorded one case of the possession of mandrax in the past year, while numerous cases of the possession of cannabis is being reported on a daily basis. Many people are hooked on cannabis because it is cheap – about N.dollars 3 per gramme - while other drugs go for much higher amounts,” he said.
The meeting noted with concern how many cases of possession of cannabis almost never result in sufficient punishment for the perpetrators, as cases are often thrown out by the courts.
According to the meeting, these cases are thrown out due to insufficient evidence such as the weight and value of the cannabis, which leaves prosecutors with little ‘ammunition’ to convince the courts to mete out higher punishments.
The meeting resolved that police do proper investigations in drug-related cases to make sure that culprits do not escape with minimal punishment.
The PPRC is established to serve as a link between the police and the community it serves.
It is made up of representatives from Government ministries, parastatals, representatives of the Namibia Shebeen Association, Gobabis Municipality and other relevant community and business structures.