THE NAMIBIAN POLICE FORCE @ 2010
POLICING is an old concept dating back to the era of ancient societies. The concept came about as a result of the formation of hierarchies in those societies. Those in power saw the need for order and peaceful co-existence of their subjects; hence, a mechanism to maintain law had to be found and that is how policing came about.
Policing in Namibia has come a long way, dating back to the days when some of the German Kaiserliche Schutztruppe were entrusted with the responsibilities of policing the then Deutsch Sudwestafrika on 1st March 1905.
As the country became a host of different colonial masters, policing has changed hands. The South Africans took over the policing role after they invaded the territory during the First World War.
When South Africa took over the ruling of the country, then Southwest Africa, it continued policing the country by putting up structures that were mainly controlled by the South Africa Police (SAP). The South Africa Police started to train black indigenous as Police Officers to help in enforcing law and order. Many Namibians were trained at various police institutions in South Africa.
In the ‘80s, the Swapo Party, which was fighting for the independence of Namibia soon realized how its population was growing from strength to strength and began of selecting some of its members to be trained as police officers. The purpose was to start policing the exiled Namibians who were scattered in camps in Angola and Zambia. Therefore, a group of men and women were send to the Republic of Tanzania in order to be trained as police officers.
After the attainment of Namibia’s independence, the Police Act, Act 19 of 1990, was enacted and signed into law by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Namibia Dr Sam Nujoma on 26 November 1990 and published in the Government Gazette No. 83 of 1990.
Since then, 26 November is commemorated as the Namibian Police Day.
The Force was then established mainly with men and women drawn from former South West African Territorial Force (SWATF), South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Unit (Koevoet) and Plan fighters. It was not easy to bring these once sworn enemies together into a coherent Force which had to fulfill one task, that of protecting and serving all people in Namibia.
Thanks to the policy of national reconciliation and the rigorous concept of discipline that is a norm in any uniformed organization, the Force managed to establish itself into a cohesive, strong, formidable disciplined entity and a Force to be reckoned with.
The Namibian Police started with about 2000 men and women in uniform in 1990, fast forward twenty years later, there are now 12 634 members including the civilian component of the Force.
The Namibian Police Force is ensuring that it is put to a better position in order to deliver quality services from a more focused perspective within the framework of the government’s efforts to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people by ensuring peace and stability in the country.
The Force was then structured to suit the Namibian policing situation, that National and Regional Headquarters were established, police stations were renovated and restructured while specialized units and new police stations were set up.
With the demands for growth and expansion, a number of capital projects have been undertaken and various infrastructures have been erected in many parts of the country, especially in formally neglected areas.
Police services are now even closer to the people. In addition to capital projects, the Namibian Police Force further recognized the need to attain optimal mobility levels in order to enhance response to incidents, improve the effectiveness of crime prevention operations and basically, to achieve relative pro-activity in our operations by acquiring appropriate transport means.
The Namibian Police Force has, therefore, made reasonable progress in ensuring its growth and expansion as an organization and more especially in carrying out its mandated functions. Crime levels in the last recent years indicates manageable margins and the Namibian Police Force further commits itself, going forward, to fighting crime in the country within the context and framework of our stated activities under the NDP3. The Namibian Police Force therefore looks forward to even more success and accomplishment in many years to come.
The first Inspector-General of the Namibian Police was Lieutenant General Pieter Abraham Fouché, followed by General Jesaya Raonga Andima in 1992. Lieutenant General Lucas Hangula was appointed in 1995 and after his retirement in 2005, Lieutenant General Sebastian Haitota Ndeitunga was appointed to date.PF