15 Sep 2015 20:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 SEP (NAMPA) More people should join the police in efforts to reduce crime in Namibia.
The Khomas regional Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Head of Community Affairs, Inspector Christina Fonsech said this when she addressed committee members of the various Windhoek-based Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) groups at a meeting on Monday evening.
The escalation of crime in the Khomas Region called for ordinary citizens and members of both NamPol and the City Police (CP) to join hands to combat crime in the various residential areas.
There are currently 24 active NHW groups in Windhoek, while 63 groups with more than 7 000 members of the Women and Men Network Against Crime (WMNAC) groups predominantly operate in the northern suburbs of the capital.
These groups are an extension of the police and other security companies, and observe and report any suspicious activities in and around their areas to either NamPol or the CP.
NHW is not there only to prevent crime but also aims to unite the communities at large, and by uniting communities we will also help other community members to join in preventing crime, said Fonsech.
Residential areas normally consist of several thousands of residents, but only a handful of concerned and dedicated residents take the safety and security of their respective neighbourhoods seriously by undertaking various activities like foot and vehicle patrols.
Apart from keeping an eye on suspicious movements and other activities that can lead to crime, NHW members play other social roles in their respective communities, such as reporting missing animals and keeping the environment clean by ensuring that rubbish dumped at designated spots or in designated containers.
Atousa Fischer-Buder, coordinator for all NHW groups in the Khomas Region, told Nampa that since the inception of the first NHW groups more than a year ago, there is a visible decrease in crime reported in Windhoek alone.
The fact that members are vigilant and watchful, and report suspicious movements and activities, has drastically helped in the prevention of crime in the region, she said.
The groups operate on a non-profit basis and all members work voluntarily, using their own resources such as vehicles, fuel, time and uniforms.
The only compensation we get is the peace and knowing our loved ones and property are protected during the night, said Johan Wentzel from the Avis residential area.
Wentzel added that since Avis started with the NHW, there is a tremendous positive reaction.
He said cooperation between NHW members and both NamPol and CP, as well as private security companies like Impala Security, G4S and Homestar is more visible.
This sentiment was, however, downplayed by members of other areas who said they often wait long for NamPol to respond to their calls.