President Hage Geingob has implored police officers to redouble their efforts to prevent and solve crime swiftly, adding that the situation of cases remaining unsolved for years is unacceptable.
Geingob made these remarks while speaking at the inauguration of the Namibian Police Forensic Science Institute (NPFSI) in the capital yesterday.
He also called on the judiciary to tighten the loopholes and laxity within the criminal justice system to ensure victims of crime and their families receive justice.
“Where the crime committed is of such a heinous nature that it poses a threat to the fabric of national cohesion and stability, the perpetrator or perpetrators thereof should receive no leniency,” Geingob said. “They are part of our society and are accommodated within the society.”
He further appealed to communities to work together with law enforcement agencies to ensure criminals are not allowed to continue committing their crimes. “Our community should desist from harbouring criminals, even if they are their relatives. Instead, they should discourage them from committing criminal activities, so that they become productive citizens of our Namibian House,” said the head of state. “Let us all face crime as a united front; let each and every Namibia adopt a social and moral obligation to assist and support the fight against crime.” He said it is every citizen’s collective responsibility to preserve the nation’s hard-won freedom and peace.
“Let us safeguard our country; let us safeguard each other – and in so doing, we will continue to safeguard the foundations of liberty, unity and justice,” Geingob said.
He said over the past two decades, the country has experienced some gruesome murders, mainly perpetrated against women.
Therefore, he said, government will not rest and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing efforts to ensure perpetrators of such heinous crimes are brought to book.
The National Forensic Science Institute (NFSI) of Namibia, now the Namibian Police Forensic Science Institute (NPFSI), was established in 1993 under the then Ministry of Home Affairs. It was later transferred to the Namibian Police, which falls under the ministry of safety and security in 2010.
The approved establishment of the Namibian Police Forensic Science Institute includes 115 personnel. However, at the moment, the total strength stands at 73, with only 10 personnel manning the four main laboratories of the institute. Other crucial positions, including that of a quality control manager, which is a very vital position to ensure accreditation, could also not be filled due to financial constraints.
The construction of the state-of-the-art NPFSI headquarters cost government a total of N$347 million, including furniture.
With the facility in place, as well as future gradual recruitment and training of more scientists, the police said it was confident to provide effective and qualitative service delivery in terms of the DNA analysis, chemistry, physics and questioned documents at a required international standard and optimal support to the criminal justice system.
Geingob said forensic science is essential to enable law enforcement to either prevent or solve these crimes.
“We are committed to investing the required resources for the success of investigating, combatting and deterring dangerous criminals that threaten the societal values of our country,” he stressed. - firstname.lastname@example.org