WINDHOEK - Although there was criticism about Operation Hornkranz from some quarters, the joint police/army operation has been welcomed by a significant number of citizens as an initiative worth maintaining, said Namibian Police Force Deputy Inspector-General for Operations Oscar Peter Embubulu.
But he said there was an increase in the number of crimes reported during the just ended festive season compared to previous corresponding periods. A total of 925 criminal cases were opened compared to 717 last year. Topping the list of incidents reported was assault GBH with 268 cases, housebreaking and theft at 102 and 87 rape cases.
This was followed by 78 cases of possession or dealing in drugs and 66 cases of stock theft.
Embubulu explained the operation was received with mixed feelings by members of the public. “Some welcomed it while others criticised the involvement of the Namibian Defence Force personnel in a purely police operation,” stated Embubulu.
Operation Hornkranz officially ended on Tuesday last week after its launch by President Hage Geingob on December 21 2018. The operation brought together members of the Namibia Police Force, Namibian Defence Force (NDF), Namibian Correctional Service, municipal services and various stakeholders and partners in the fight against crime.
Embubulu presented the outcome of various operations during the festive season to Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba on Wednesday at Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College.
Asked if the operation will continue, Embubulu said if the need arises on the ground, they will institute the operation.
He said the operation has been concluded and in actual fact it’s an interval recess but if anything on the ground requires them to go back (operate) they will, and this will not preclude other ongoing operations.
“We realised (the joint operation) has given an impact,” said Embubulu. While touching on the challenges, Embubulu said they had limited manpower, logistics and operational equipment – such as fuel, radio communication and other resources.
Embubulu also said the law enforcement officers confiscated 3 759 knives, 1 320 pangas and 516 screwdrivers as well as 385 knobkieries among others. These items top the list of dangerous objects confiscated among 27 guns and three toy guns.
The operation also saw various drugs worth N$5.6 million confiscated.
Cannabis worth N$5.3 million and cannabis plants worth N$205,390 were among drugs confiscated. Embubulu added that 127 Namibians were arrested for drug dealing.
Six Zambians and one South African were also arrested for drug dealing.