By Donna Collins
IN an effort to bolster the policing efforts of Swakopmund, and to turn it into a crime free town and holiday destination for swarms of holidaymakers and tourists, the second Police Public Relations Committee (PPRC) meeting last week, drew some positive response, as well as the election of a dedicated committee who will serve as a three-year term.
Anett Kotting was elected chairperson of the PPRC after a meeting with Swakopmund Station Commander Inspector Aibeb earlier this year, kick-started the first session held in July. Initially the meeting was set up for liquor outlet owners to engage in discussion.
Kotting who is also the manager of one of Swakopmund’s leading hotels, has joined hands with Nampol police, traffic, neighbourhood watch, the municipality, church leaders and the private sector, to bring about positive change to the town.
She is being backed by vice chairperson Peter van Ginkel, and treasurer Sgt Zelda Mbarandongo, who also made available crime statistics in the ‘big 10’ Swakopmund residential areas for the first six months of the year, revealing that in July there were 22 recorded incidents of housebreaking.
And with the festive season around the corner discussions are already on the table on how best to boost law enforcement during the holiday period, and that it is dealt with as a matter of urgency since time is running out. Inspector Aebeb advised that he will make a summary to be presented at a next Nampol meeting regarding the special reserve force for Christmas. He said that he has received offers from certain high schools for accommodation, as well as food sponsorship for the officers, but mentioned that as the town fills up each year demanding more law enforcement manpower, barracks would need to be built. A bone of contention was the unlicensed taxis operating in town, as well as their bad road manners, which drew response from senior traffic officer Trudi Xoagub, who said that this is a problem the department is battling with. She said that the department is looking into a taxi registration system by introducing a windscreen licence disc sticker which will reflect the number of the taxi operator. A new policy has been drafted and is ready to be rolled out Furthermore, it was mentioned that this would be a challenge for an understaffed traffic department, since there are two different unions involved with currently are over 300 taxis operating in Swakopmund alone. The big ‘beef ’ they face is to reel in the unlicensed drivers, some of which are even under aged youngsters who are illegally operate a taxi service at night and during weekends. “Pirate taxis on the roads are rife and we are going to do the best we can to flush them out.”
Xoagub also added, that with all the new developments and shopping complexes that are going up in and around Swakopmund, it is important for developers to consider proper drop off and pick up zones for the taxis, as they play a major part of the transportation system to the community.
Other issues that came to light were the ‘street kids’, and hawkers who are becoming an increasing nuisance in town, and are responsible for chasing away customers from the entrance to the shops as well as harassing tourists. Crime hot spots require surveillance cameras and with some already been installed at the jetty which is a huge tourist attraction, already there has been a noticeable change. But with one strong zoom camera can cost up to N$35 000 there was a suggestion to incorporate the Municipality to deduct a token amount off rate payers in order to raise the money.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015