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Word On The Block by the Namibian Police - How to lay a complaint at the police

2020-10-14  Staff Reporter

Word On The Block by the Namibian Police - How to lay a complaint at the police

The timely reporting of crimes is essential to the administration of justice and for the law to take its course. Any person who is a victim of any crime is encouraged to immediately report it to the Namibian Police Force by dialling 10111 or by visiting their nearest police station. They may also contact any police officer whose number is at their disposal. 

What happens when a complaint has been laid with the police?

A police officer will interview the complainant.
A statement under oath will be obtained from the complainant, who is required to be brief and as honest as possible.
A case docket will be opened and registered into a crime register. 
The complainant will receive a form with the case number and other relevant documents noted for reference.
The Unit Commander will assign the case docket to a specific investigating officer for investigations and with directives. However, if the suspect is a police officer, the case docket will be referred to the Internal Investigation Directorate (IID).
When all investigations are done, the case will be presented to the court, and the Prosecutor General will decide whether to prosecute or not and if the investigation will continue.

In the case of gender-based violence and rape, time is of the essence when it comes to the reporting of the incident. Due to the sensitive nature of these crimes, a specific process has been developed to assist victims of sexual assault and rape.

The Namibian Police Force has thus far established specialist offices in all regions, with a total of 17 units countrywide to deal with crimes relating to gender-based violence. Qualified and trained personnel are based at these offices to attend to these particular cases.  

Procedure in cases of domestic violence, including sexual assault and rape

As soon as the victim of gender-based violence reports the incident to the police station, arrangements will be made for a medical examination. The police officer will interview the complainant, and social workers will offer further psychological support. Where a complainant is unable to speak or too emotional at the time, alternative arrangements will be made to interview the complainant at a later stage while the investigation continues. 

The Public Service Act places great emphasis on the quality and standards of service delivery.  As a public institution, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration and Safety and Security is subjected to the Act. It, therefore, needs to adhere to service delivery to all stakeholders, of which the public forms an integral part. The Namibian Police Force cares about the safety and security of all people it serves. Furthermore, maintenance of law and order, as well as the protection of life and property, are some of the core mandates of the organisation. The Namibian Police Force wants to ensure that all complaints are timely reported to the police. 

Today, as we battle with gender-based violence, rape and other crimes in our communities, the police time and again emphasised the collaborative efforts and mutual understanding, as policing cannot exist without public assistance. 

Take note
Making false accusations against another person is a crime punishable by the law.
Complainants will not be allowed to make an affidavit under oath while under the influence of alcohol.
To report a crime is free of charge, and a police officer will complete all the necessary documents.
The public should not fear of reprisal but have the confidence to report all criminal and untoward incidents for investigation.

2020-10-14  Staff Reporter

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