National jurisdictions hampering law enforcement agencies: Shikongo

Criminal syndicates are taking advantage of the countless layers of restrictions law enforcement agencies face, given that they are limited to working within national jurisdictions.

This is according to Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) Chairperson and Inspector General (IG) of the Namibian Police Force, Joseph Shikongo, who said organised crime syndicates have gone global and are operating across nations, thereby merging and collapsing SADC borders in the process.

“This situation is compounded by the fact that organised crime syndicates have also digitalised their criminal activities and it only takes a click for them to use cyberspace to commit a crime from miles away,” he expressed.

Shikongo was speaking at the opening of the inaugural SADC Multi-Stakeholder Regional Conference on Transnational Organised Crime Conference in Swakopmund on Monday.

The IG also highlighted the lack of cooperation by law enforcement agencies at national and regional levels, as one of the most prominent and generic challenges observed.

“We are operating in silos. Hence, our efforts to prevent and combat transnational organised crime are fragmented and are characterised by a piecemeal approach. I therefore would like to emphasise that we need to forge unity and fight this crime from a united front and a common understanding, which will enhance resource mobilisation, through forging public-public partnerships, since in the most cases law enforcement agencies are under-resourced, while criminals are well-equipped by criminal syndicates,” Shikongo said.

SADC Secretariat’s Acting Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Kealeboga Moruti at the same occasion stressed the importance of cooperation to effectively fight transnational organised crimes within the region.

“The decision to host this first-ever regional conference communicates with clarity the commitment of SADC chiefs of police, whose roles are undeniable in initiating robust measures and mechanisms to effectively combat transnational organised crime.”

The conference, which is being attended by chiefs of police from SADC countries, is aimed at enhancing regional frameworks and efforts to prevent and combat transnational organised crimes.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency