Dangerous weapons confiscated

More than a thousand individual items and weapons like knives, machetes, axes, screwdrivers, small firearms and even toy guns were confiscated from people who have been wandering the streets of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund at night. The police treat all these confiscated items as potential weapons to commit crimes like robbery and housebreaking.

The majority of these items were confiscated during “stop and search” operations. According to police spokesperson warrant officer Iileni Shapumba there is a very disturbing pattern recognized through these stop and search operations: Firstly, the majority if these items were confiscated from youths under the age of eighteen and secondly the majority of the persons from whom these items were confiscated late at night on the streets of Mondesa in Swakopmund and Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay.
Warrant officer Shapumba exhibited a portion of these confiscated items and weapons to the media at police headquarters in Walvis Bay on Wednesday and had a strong message to parents who are not actively involved in their children’s lives and upbringing.
“Why are we failing our youth? Our young children are roaming the streets at night and they are armed with weapons and other items we know are used in violence-related crime and housebreaking”.
Warrant officer Shapumba explained many youths are trapped in social problems like poverty, high rates of school dropouts, unemployment and parental homes where the youth are not encouraged to take their education seriously and to refrain from becoming involved in gangsterism, the drug trade and involvement in criminal activities like housebreaking, theft from locked vehicles, assault and many other crimes that continues to negatively influence coastal societies.
The cycle often turns for the worse when these youths become addicted to alcohol and drugs and subsequently has to steal, rob and even assault or kill just to obtain cash or other valuables to buy the next fix, explained Shapumba.
On a question of the legality of stop and searches and the confiscation of any item deemed a potential weapon, Shapumba expressed the Namibian Police’s resolve to return order and safety to the coastal communities.
“There are laws and regulations in place to govern the carrying of knives and other weapons. What is important is we need to get these weapons off our streets and the Namibian Police will continue to deploy personnel at areas and at times we deemed necessary to maintain public safety”, he explained.

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