WINHDOEK - Namibian Police Force Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi said the police prioritise cases in which tourists are the victims by arranging with the courts to allow visiting tourists to testify before departing for their countries.
Shikwambi made these remarks in reaction to assertions that numerous incidents of tourists who visit Namibia and end up being robbed of huge sums of money are normally hesitant to open police cases because they do not want to spoil their holidays by appearing in court as witnesses
She said, “There has been some isolated cases where tourists refuse to lay charges due to lengthy court processes but in some incidents tourists do open cases.”
However, she insisted in order to be successful with the investigation of any crime, witnesses are needed to cooperate with the police.
She also cited a recent example of the Walvis Bay CR54/10/2018 theft out of motor vehicle case, which occurred on October 13 in one of the holiday business destinations of the country, Erongo Region, where the accused broke into a South African tourist’s vehicle and removed cash and other items worth N$24 800.
“Four suspects were arrested shortly thereafter and appeared in court on 15 October 2018,” said Shikwambi, adding that the complainant testified in court and thereafter the case was postponed for further police investigations.
Additionally, she highlighted another similar incident of theft out of a motor vehicle, reported last Tuesday at about 09h00 at Puma Service Station in the southern town of Mariental, where an unknown suspect stole a backpack with its contents out of the motor vehicle – a white Ford Ranger double cab – belonging to a Swiss woman. The backpack contained an iPad, iPhone, passports, insurance cards, flight tickets, hats, medicines, water bottles and many more items worth N$36 500. No arrest was made.
Shikwambi particularly cautioned all persons who intend to visit Namibia, warning that criminals do not discriminate and no place is immune to criminality.
“As Nampol keep saying, tourists need to pay much attention to the basic and logical safety tips while touring Namibia,” she said. She further warned tourists not to carry large sums of money around on the street.
“Do not advertise that you are a tourist, you may be a victim and also while on the road ignore strangers stopping you,” advised Shikwambi.
Tourists were also advised to be wary of unexpected persons coming into their hotel rooms and she urged them to contact the front desk when in doubt.
She concurred that crime is a violation of the laws and people’s fundamental rights and privileges, moreover a disruption of peace in any community.
“It is imperative, to reduce the very possibility of crime prevalence by knowing the emergency numbers in your areas and have incidents of crime reported within 24hrs to 0819682 / 10111,” she said.