Safety and Security Minister, Charles Namoloh, has discouraged police officers from using bullying tactics in order to obtain information from suspects.
He also encouraged police officers to register with the Mass Housing programme, saying the initiative will not be stopped.
Namoloh was speaking during a familiarisation tour of the Erongo Region this week, where he also encouraged police officers to cultivate good relationships with the community.
“When policing you are not only protecting the community, but also yourself. Law enforcers therefore need to function as a disciplined team in order to combat and defeat criminals. It’s time that we shape up. Please ensure that you are presentable and be aware of the image you portray as a police officer wearing a uniform, whenever you are in public,” Namoloh said.
He said the snail’s pace at which disciplinary cases are handled within the police force is unfair.
Namoloh expressed concern about the practice of keeping disciplinary dockets of police officers, and using the pending cases to disqualify the affected officers from promotions.
“A simple disciplinary case takes up to 10 years to be resolved and when promotions are due, it’s used to prevent promotions from being achieved.
This is very discouraging. Such cases should not be allowed to drag on for longer than three months and should be resolved fairly and promptly. Prosecutors should also be made aware that it’s expected from them to deal with cases within a minimum time,” Namoloh said.
Among other stop-offs, Namoloh visited the regional headquarters where he was briefed about police operations.
He also addressed members of the police force at Immanuel Ruiters Primary School in Kuisebmond.
Namoloh’s delegation arrived in Walvis Bay on Wednesday.
They also toured Walvis Bay and Swakopmund police barracks and houses and correctional facilities in the two towns.
Namoloh informed the police officers that the purpose of the visit was to become familiarised with the situation and conditions at police and correctional facilities, in order to identify challenges.
The minister promised to return to Erongo and visit facilities in other towns in the region.
He commended police officers for the reduction of crime in the region.
Namoloh said challenges faced by officers in the execution of their duties had been discussed, including staff shortages and critical vacancies not being filled.
“We will look at this and attend to it with Police Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga. Some identified challenges relate to office accommodation, sleeping barracks and housing for police officers, and money has been budgeted for the construction of barracks in certain areas. We want our officers to live in safe and conducive environments.”
The issue of a lack of transport was also raised and the minister called on police officers to act responsibly and look after the fleet allocated for the execution of their duties.
“We will stop those who are unable to drive and take care of vehicles.
“Those who commit three offenses will be prevented from driving police vehicles, as was done by the Ministry of Defence. Special licences will be issued and driving schools will be established to equip the drivers with special skills” said the minister.
Otto Finck: Namibian Sun