The Omusati region has during the last financial year seen an alarming increase in cases of assault, stock theft and break-ins, governor Erginus Endjala revealed.
Endjala said the increase is attributed to alcohol and drug abuse.
“The most prevalent common cases are assault-related cases due to drugs and alcohol abuse, [such as] theft, housebreaking with the intent to steal, fraud and contravention of the liquor act and possession of cannabis is also on the increase,” said Endjala.
Presenting the state of affairs in the region on Friday, Endjala noted with concern that the region is picking up on cases of dealing in drugs and illegal hunting, especially of protected species.
In 2020, the region altogether recorded 3 679 cases from all its police stations.
Of these cases, Outapi recorded the highest number of cases of 1 085, Okahao with 801 and Onandjaba with 346 cases.
To date, the region has recorded 1 639 between January and May, with Outapi and Okahao still taking the lead with the highest number of cases recorded.
The governor said the high number of crimes in the region is further fueled by the number of cases that have been opened against people violating the Covid-19 regulations in place.
In 2020, the region recorded 614 cases of gender-based violence (GBV).
The governor noted that gender-based violence cases also sharply increased during the lockdown implemented last year.
Although there was stringent regulations on the sale of alcohol, the governor said the assault cases were influenced by the abuse of alcohol and other social issues, such as botched marriages, broken family ties and failed relationships.
Despite the increase in GBV cases during the lockdown, Endjala said during the state of emergency lockdown, where movements of people were restricted and the sale of alcohol completely banned, common crimes in the region were relatively low.