NamPol warns against child neglect during the festive season

Niël Terblanché

As the festive season draws near, a concerning rise in incidents of child neglect and abuse has prompted the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) to issue a stern warning to parents and guardians.

Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the head of the Public Relations Division of the Namibian Police, in a special message, requested parents to guard their children against various dangers during this period.

She said that there has been a disturbing increase in crimes against children. She added that these incidents range from neglect and abuse to sexual assault, with many children falling victim to crimes perpetrated by those entrusted with their safety.

Shikwambi detailed various troubling trends, including children engaging in harmful activities such as theft, involvement in knife-related violence, and the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.

The statement also highlighted the alarming rates of child suicide, road accidents, water-related incidents, and fire hazards affecting young lives.

Recognizing the heightened risk during the holiday season, NamPol calls for intensified parental vigilance.

“Parents and guardians are urged to reinforce safety measures, including teaching children about personal boundaries, how to recognize and respond to emergency situations, and the dangers of drug and alcohol use,” she said.

The importance of educating children about interacting with strangers was also stressed, with advice to report any suspicious or inappropriate activities.

Additionally, Shikwambi stressed the need for awareness about water and fire safety, advising against unsupervised access to water bodies and instructing children on the dangers of playing with matches or lighters.

“Children are vulnerable and often unable to defend themselves; thus, ensuring their safety is paramount for their physical and emotional well-being,” she added.

She said that the Namibian Police believes that early intervention and education can significantly reduce children’s likelihood of criminal behaviour as they grow older.

“Prioritizing children’s safety is not just a parental responsibility but a societal imperative to protect the most vulnerable members of the community,” she said.

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