Carrying pocket knives, sticks punishable by law: NamPol

09 Jan 2019 13:50pm
GOBABIS, 09 JAN (NAMPA) – The carrying of certain types of knives, sticks or axes on someone’s person or in a vehicle is a criminal offence that is punishable by law, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) has said.
NamPol Deputy Commissioner in the Omaheke Region, Marcellus Maritshane told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday that items that could be classified as ‘dangerous weapons’ can be confiscated by the police and the person concerned punished by law.
Maritshane was responding to Nampa's queries on the matter, following complaints from the public about the confiscation of such items by the police, especially during the ongoing Operation Hornkranz.
The senior police officer quoted an ordinance on general law, which prohibits the carrying of such items, unless it can be proven that such items are needed by the person carrying them for a lawful purpose.
According to Ordinance 12 of 1956, Section 4 (3a-n) as amended, knives, including pocket knives, or any blade (part of a knife not constituting a shaft or handle) which exceeds three and a half inches (about 8.9 cm) and jumpers, crowbars or hammers exceeding three pounds (about 1.4kg) in weight is not allowed on a person.
Further explaining ‘dangerous weapons’, the ordinance states that handles with wire, chains or other heavy substance attached, battle axes and daggers are not allowed.
Maritshane displayed a table full of items such as knives, crowbars, daggers and scissors confiscated during sporadic stop-and-search patrols as part of Operation Hornkranz.
Several sticks and knobkieries were also confiscated by the police in the operation.
May people in the Omaheke Region traditionally carry walking sticks or ‘kieries’ in their vehicles and on them, especially when en route to village functions.
Maritshane said while no cases were opened against many of those carrying the items, it was worrying that so many dangerous weapons are carried every day by people.
“Those we took them from said they use the items for self-defence. Against who or what? We do not know as they failed to tell us,” he said.
The confiscated items also include one electric drill and heavy metal rods and plates, which the senior police officer suspects would have been used for burglary.
“Why would anyone carry an electric drill at night on him if not for that purpose? We were however successful in intercepting such crimes through this operation,” said Maritshane.
He said the possession or acquisition of a dangerous weapon by any person is only permissible if authorised in writing by the relevant law authorities if such items are solely kept as a trophy, ornament or for curiosity.
The anti-crime operation was launched officially on 21 December 2018 by President Hage Geingob, with the aim of minimising crime during the festive season.