NamPol urges Dordabis community to start neighbourhood watch groups

24 Jan 2019 13:30pm
By Anna Salkeus
DORDABIS, 24 JAN (NAMPA) – The police at Dordabis are encouraging community members to start neighbourhood watch groups and become reservists in order to actively participate in combating crime in the area.
A community meeting was held by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) at the village situated some 80 kilometres outside Windhoek on Tuesday, where they spoke to community members about crimes affecting them.
“We also have a lot of cases whereby people don’t really know what it means to obstruct the course of justice or resist arrest. We wanted to create awareness and get information from the community on what actions or problem solving methods we can use to do our work effectively,” Acting Community Policing Officer at Dordabis, Constable Jefnis Mbako said.
He explained that community policing was one way in which NamPol could partner up with residents to reduce crime at the village.
He said NamPol would also engage farmers to have them establish neighbourhood watch groups.
Some members of the community said during the meeting they sometimes do not understand why arrests were made by reservists or the implications of resisting arrest, as well as what their rights are when they are arrested.
Mbako indicated that the unemployment and crime rates are high at Dordabis, but that there are residents who make the effort to combat crime alongside the police.
He explained that a reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force who in peacetime have careers outside the military, or otherwise civilians.
“Reservist constables are not granted salaries from that. You must have a job or something where you are getting income from. They can also wear a uniform just like a police officer and report for duty where they will have to do the same tasks as police officers,” he said.
Community members who are interested in becoming reservists will be vetted and are required to not have a criminal record, he added.
“To be a reservist, you must also be physically fit and have the capacity to perform the duties of the Namibian Police,” Mbako said.
The idea of neighbourhood watch groups were largely welcomed by the community, including community representative Isack Ockhuizen.
“Crime is not that high in Dordabis, but in most cases, some incidents like stabbing occur especially around month end when people have money,” Ockhuizen noted.