THE Namibian Police has opened a tourism protection unit in Swakopmund - the second in the country, after Windhoek.
Thanks to the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) and Costal Tourism Association of Namibia (CTAN), the unit's office is situated in the Woermann Arcade in the middle of town for the convenience of tourists.
The office is being leased from the municipality.
Currently five officers, included detectives, will man the office. Tourists with complaints - be it having been involved in an accident, or victims of crime - will be assisted there. The office is comfortably set with a personal touch.
Operating hours will be from 08h00 to 22h00 every day, and in the event the office is closed, a police officer will always be ready to help. The emergency number to contact them is 085 444.
The need for a tourism protection unit has come to the fore over the years as more tourists fall victim to crimes such as theft and robbery, while many are also involved in accidents. For them to go to the local charge office and wait in line or not being able to communicate their concerns and statement to local officers has become a matter of frustration, according to HAN Chairman Andre van Rensburg.
With increased cooperation between the police, public and businesses in Swakopmund - which ultimately led to the establishment of the Police Public Relations Committee, and other creations like the Swakopmund Crime Stoppers and the 270-man strong Neighbourhood Watch, the Tourist Protection Unit is the latest addition to a security force to be reckoned with.
"Swakopmund is the tourism centre of Namibia. Most of the tourists coming to our country eventually end up in Swakopmund. We love them; we welcome them; we care for them; and we want them to be safe and spend all their money here. We will guard this status jealously," said Swakopmund Mayor Juuso Kambueshe at the official opening of the office.
Erongo police chief Commissioner Samuel //Hoebeb said tourists will be able to come to Swakopmund without concerns of inconvenience.