Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Effective combating of crime

As quoted from Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Brian O’Linn

“Most Namibians agree that the administration of justice has fallen into disrepute and that the main causes are, inter alia:

The laws, interpretation of the laws and application of the Constitution: the emphasis on rights without any emphasis on responsibilities; on the rights of the accused and convicted persons, but not the rights of the victims and law-abiding citizens; the unacceptable high rate of criminality and unacceptable low rate of literacy in the official language in the Namibian Police Force; generally the lack of a culture of professionalism, which includes pride in the profession, dedication and motivation; failure to put in place a culture of merit and non-discrimination in the place of racist criteria; the inexperience, lack of the necessary qualifications and/or training incompetence, physical fitness; insufficient equipment, vehicles and remuneration; the failure to incorporate magistrates into the judiciary in regard to appointment, control, professionalism and ethics; the inexperience and inadequate qualifications and training of some prosecutors and even some magistrates; insufficient courts and personnel to do the job; lack of proper organisation; the delaying tactics of legal practitioners for the defence; the increase in crime levels due to many different causes and problems – some of which are insoluble; lack of the necessary consistent leadership by many leading persons and institutions; outright abuse of power and corruption by too many of those in positions of power, trust and leadership; undermining of the rule of law; abuse of power and the consequent development of a culture of dishonesty, lawlessness, criminality and despondency.

… Policemen should be appointed and promoted on the basis of education, ability, experience, expertise, performance, character, integrity and motivation.”

“… there is a widespread misinterpretation that freedom means license to do whatever one likes without responsibility for these actions or the consequences. This interpretation extends to the misuse, vandalism and theft of public property and private property alike.”

“Successful arrest and conviction must operate as a deterrent and the State should, within the limits of its undoubtedly constrained resources, seek to deter serious crime by adequate remuneration for the police force; by incentives to improve their training and skill; by augmenting their numbers in key areas; and by facilitating their legitimacy in the perception of the communities in which they work”

Recommendations include making a highly qualified and professional group of security officers more effective in supplementing police inadequacies regarding the preparing of the statements of complaints and witnesses in criminal cases in which they become involved in the course of their professional duties.