Ohangwena police warns ahead of festive season

BY MARX ITAMALO

POLICE in Ohangwena region have warned residents of the region to be vigilant in order to avoid becoming victims of criminal activities during the upcoming festive season.

This unambiguous warning came from the police spokesperson in the region Inspector Abner Kaume Itumba during an interview with Confidente on Wednesday.

According to Itumba, the festive season sees many people descending on the North from different parts of the country as they come to visit their families and loved ones.

“We all know that this is the time when many people visit the North. So it is going to be a busy time and it is also when criminal activities soar,” he said.

Itumba thus warned residents of the region to be vigilant at all times in order to avoid falling victim to different types of crime.

“Of late, we had a lot of criminal activities targeting people in our towns especially Oshikango and Eenhana. People are being cheated out of their money by criminals. Some lose their money which was wired to their cellphones and others have money withdrawn from their accounts after being contacted via cellphones and enticed to provide their bank card numbers and personal details. A lot of people lost money primarily in those two ways,” he said.

Itumba stressed because of the anticipated festive season, the police in the region have rolled up their sleeves and mobilised crime prevention teams at each police station in the region, to carry out regular patrols during the month of December and early January in major towns to ensure crime is under control.

“Teams will be patrolling during the festive season. Those criminals who think they are going to terrorise people in our region should know that they will find their match,” he warned. The police spokesman also implored residents to set up neighbourhood watches in order to curb incidences of housebreaking during the period in question.

“This is the time when many people also leave their houses to visit elsewhere. Some make the mistake of going without even informing their neighbours. People should work together if they want to prevent and fight crime,” he noted.

Itumba further pleaded with people to avoid moving unnecessarily at night especially when they are alone and when travelling on foot.

Incidences of the rape of minors and small children by people close to them are also a matter giving the police in Ohangwena sleepless nights. According to Itumba, rapes are committed by uncles, cousins, fathers and even domestic workers.

“This disease (rape) has crept into our region and is soaring at an alarming rate. Some of the cases involve cattle herders and domestic workers from Angola, who just flee across the border when they commit such crime,” he noted whilst requesting residents and homeowners to always to ensure they employ people whom they can trace in case of an unfavourable eventuality.

“Get their identity documents and it is also important to know where they come from,” he advised.

Itumba also warns those people who will find themselves visiting towns from villages to do shopping to be cautious and avoid getting drawn into negotiations or conversations with strangers.

“These are mostly the people who fall victim to criminal activities. Please if you came alone to town, why should you be speaking to people that you don’t know? Don’t get involved in unnecessary conversations,” he further warned.