REHOBOTH – Deputy police chief Joseph Shikongo said police have come up with collective measures on how to curb drug abuse and gender-based violence in Hardap.
Shikongo called the meeting after the police recorded a marked increase in drug abuse and rape cases over the past three months, receiving complaints from farmers.
The meeting was convened on Saturday at Rehoboth to find solutions and share suggestions on how to curb these crimes.
Shikongo was speaking to New Era at Rehoboth shortly after the meeting.
He said the meeting was similar to the one convened last week at Omitara when he engaged farming communities of the Khomas and Omaheke regions to address the stock theft issue.
“We have the way forward now. Our men and women in uniform will be hard at work to make sure that those crimes are reduced drastically and we will come back here after three months to monitor the situation,” he said. “We want to regain our integrity and serve our people. We are here to serve with humility and integrity.”
He added their mandate is “to deliver quality law to the people, effective policing and building partnerships with the public and organisational excellency.”
He further urged anyone who knows of police officers who work with criminals to report them.
He urged all station commanders to follow up on reported cases and not to sit on them.
Shikongo said the police plans to hold similar meetings in other regions.
Rehoboth resident Quinton Leroy Uirab told New Era that many school children have dropped out of school and they sell drugs in the locations.
“There are a lot of high school dropouts in Rehoboth because children are being used by elders to sell drugs and alcohol because the elders are scared to be arrested,” he stated.
“I can even tell you that some children are forced to go sell at school to other children. The police are sometimes aware. There is something that needs to be done urgently.”
He also stated that lack of resources in the police is suspected to hinder their work to patrol around the area.