26 June 2019

Namibia: Police Crack Down On Drugs in Schools

The police has stepped in to curb the use of drugs at schools, with daily body searches being conducted on pupils at a high school in Windhoek.

Pupils at Delta Secondary School Windhoek (DSSW) are body- searched every morning as they arrive for school, while their bags are also searched for illicit substances by police officers.

The police have become a regular presence at the school after some pupils were caught with illicit drugs earlier this year.

The Namibian yesterday morning witnessed a police detail searching pupils before they entered the school premises.

In a letter to parents dated 7 February 2019, DSSW principal Angelika Jacobie wrote that additional policing would be introduced at the school after pupils were found with significant amounts of drugs, alcohol and knives on school premises.

She said at the time, the pupils found with these items were from all grades.

Jacobie, however, declined to respond to questions sent to her by The Namibian on Monday.

However, The Namibian managed to get comment from some senior pupils, who complained that the police are not engaging with pupils in an appropriate manner.

"The way they treat and talk to pupils is a way in which you wouldn't even speak to/treat criminals," a male pupil said, adding that this feeling was shared by many pupils.

He described the manner in which girls are frisked by the police as fondling.

"This fondling is often done by officers of the same sex, but many pupils claim to have been frisked by officers of the opposite sex, which can only be seen as inappropriate," the pupil said.

Furthermore, he said the officers follow pupils to the toilets, as well as eavesdrop on their conversations during break time.

Police deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi yesterday explained that the police are called to schools if there are suspicions of drug abuse by pupils.

He said earlier this year, the police arrested two People's Primary School pupils aged nine and 11 after they were found in possession of drugs.

According to him, the situation at Delta is not a first for the police, as there have been numerous reports from other schools.

On the fondling claims made by some pupils, Kanguatjivi responded that the onus rests on pupils to report such incidents.

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