OMUTHIYA - Crime and motor accidents in Oshikoto Region drastically reduced over the festive season, an achievement the Deputy Commissioner for Crime Prevention, Petrus Shigwedha, attributed to various tactical operations such as night foot and vehicle patrols in town and villages, as well as setting up permanent roadblocks.
The success was further made possible by the intensification of the random stop and search of vehicles and passengers, for the purpose of intercepting those driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs, unroadworthy vehicles, overloading, over-speeding and driving without a valid licence.
The successful operation was a joint effort with President Hage Geingob’s Operation Hornkratz which he initiated in December.
“A number of successes were achieved despite various challenges such as the lack of transport, that could hamper the smooth running of our operational activities. It’s on record that road accidents have been a matter of great concern in Oshikoto. But after concerted efforts, I can reveal that 10 fatalities were recorded in 2018/19 compared to 11 in 2017/18, while a significant drop was seen in the number of serious injuries from 47 to 15 in 2018, as well as a further drop from 27 to 14 in slight injuries,” revealed Shigwedha.
Shigwedha further indicated there was a decrease in crime from 513 cases recorded in 2017 to 395 in 2018. In addition, goods valued at N$24 456.70 were recovered including 82 sachets of cannabis, 1116 packets of whiskey and 810 Yes cigarettes.
“Other items confiscated include a pistol, shotgun, six knives, hammer, screwdriver, four traditional knives and two self-made firearms. About 106 suspects have been arrested in connection with the confiscated items,” said the deputy commissioner.
On the issue of transport, he said, most of the fleet is grounded, as there is no budget allocation for maintenance. “We have enough fleet but there is no budget available for maintenance to fix the vehicles – some are just minor issues such as batteries, a bit of panel beating and general service,” he briefly stated in an interview.
He appealed to the public to join hands with the police in order to uproot criminal elements from the society.