City Police warn against street kids’ robbery scams

Martin Endjala

Windhoek City Police Chief, Leevi Ileka has issued a stern warning to residents regarding the increasing incidents in which street children pose as individuals seeking help with various needs, such as food and money, but ultimately engage in robbery.

Ileka delivered this warning during a media briefing on Friday, emphasizing the rising number of complaints received by city police regarding robberies committed by groups of homeless children in the capital.

“These street children approach people under false pretences, requesting money or assistance, and as the victims search their pockets and handbags for change, the culprits swiftly swoop in to commit the robbery,” he explained.

Ileka urged the public to refrain from responding to the deceptive pleas of street children and giving them money.

He assured the public that city police have intensified their presence in hotspots within the Central Business District to swiftly apprehend those responsible for such crimes.

He emphasized that providing money to street children through begging or robbery only encourages them to remain on the streets.

Ileka called on people to exercise vigilance, particularly when encountering groups of homeless children in public spaces.

The city police chief highlighted the increasing number of children living and working on the streets, which poses concerns related to health, safety, public security, drug abuse, and traffic disruptions.

Sharing an incident reported to city police officers, Ileka recounted a case in which a woman fell victim to a robbery. She had been approached by individuals requesting money, and as she reached for her money to help them, they seized her cell phone and fled.

Ileka reiterated the city police’s stance discouraging the public from giving money to both children and adults living on the streets.

Instead, he suggested that those who wish to assist should do so by donating funds and essential items to relevant service providers responsible for social services, such as after-school care centres and safe homes. He cautioned that such practices perpetuate unhealthy habits among homeless individuals, keeping them trapped in a cycle of homelessness and hindering the long-term solutions offered by service providers.

Ileka also issued a warning to the public about scams, particularly during school enrollment.

He noted that scammers often advertise non-existent products or services in local newspapers, on the radio, or social media.

Common scams target students seeking rentals or school placements during this period.

He advised the public to request property visitation before making any payments and encouraged them to remain vigilant by familiarizing themselves with signs of scams.

He urged individuals to report suspected scam crimes to either the City Police or the Namibian Police.

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