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Kawana warns police officers to behave or face the boot

Minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security Albert Kawana has warned police officers conniving with criminals and those assisting them to escape from prison to stop.

Kawana was speaking at the official inauguration of the new multimillion-dollar police station at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West region on Friday.

The construction of the police station comes a year after the completion of the police regional headquarters which were inaugurated in July last year.

The police station was constructed to the tune of N$109 million, consisting of a charge office and four holding cells, 42 offices, a record room, an armoury, an interview room, ablution facilities, a block of eight cells, including a storeroom and four vehicles to be used at the station.

“It is important for me to stress that the existence of a police station alone does not mean anything if this is not supported by a sufficient number of police officers whose conduct is beyond reproach and who are fully devoted to their career.

“Such officers must be disciplined, loyal and patriotic and consider their profession as a calling, not just a job opportunity,” Kawana said.

The minister reminded the police officers in attendance of their duty to apprehend criminals and not to be criminals themselves.
“The inspector general of the police and the entire management of the force are under the obligation to ensure that dishonest members have no place in the force, but should be dealt with,” he said.

Kawana said police infrastructure is meant to improve the working environment of civil servants and bring policing services closer to the people.

Police inspector general Joseph Shikongo at the event urged police officers to conduct themselves professionally, and remain disciplined – on and off duty.

“I would further like to draw your attention to the matter regarding the handling of prisoners, especially trial-awaiting inmates.

“The main functions of the Namibian Police are to preserve the internal security of Namibia, maintain law and order, investigate any offence or alleged offence, prevent crime, and protect life and property.

“When this constitutional mandate is violated, perpetrators are arrested and confined in our custody while awaiting trial,” Shikongo said, adding it remains the duty of police officers to see to it that suspects and perpetrators do not escape.

“They must be closely guarded at all times to avoid their escape, which has become a matter of concern lately,” he said.

Shikongo said police achievements should not end with the apprehension of suspects, but officers should work together with prosecutors to do thorough investigations leading to successful prosecutions and convictions.