Eradicating crime is key to investment, job creation and faster economic growth

By Josef Kefas Sheehama.

According to official statistics, crime has steadily increased since 2018, mainly due to the level of poverty and inequality in Namibia.

One of the macroeconomic issues facing Namibia is the issue of unemployment. Economically and socially disadvantaged economies, where levels of poverty, unemployment and underemployment are very high, will inevitably see the effect of reduced economic activity. When people are not fully employed, they are forced to engage in different types of crimes as a survival strategy.

Closing these social and economic gaps requires that the fruits of economic growth reach everyone, even in the most remote areas of rural Namibia. And since agriculture is the main pillar of the economy in rural areas, it should be a priority.

Income inequality and widespread poverty are mainly the result of high unemployment. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the relationship between unemployment and economic growth and determine the direction to take to overcome these limiting factors.

Governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens by developing effective social policies to reduce the effects of crime on society. A high crime rate has negative effects on sustainable economic growth by driving away foreign and domestic investors. In turn, low investment ends up increasing unemployment and poverty.

The challenges to effective crime prevention and control are corruption, poverty, family issues and the low motivation of the Namibian police force. Economic growth is a prerequisite for the development of any economy, as higher growth rates tend to attract more investors into an economy, thereby creating employment opportunities for the population. With increasing employment, productivity rises and becomes a viable tool for higher incomes. However, when people cannot meet their basic needs in life, they may resort to crime as a survival strategy. Consequently, crime increases uncertainty in the economy, which affects productivity and decreases real gross domestic product.

The incidence of crime in Namibia has been notable. It is unfortunate that one of the commercial banks was robbed of N$1.3 million on Wednesday afternoon. According to Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the suspects managed to take the boxes containing the money and flee the scene. The prevalence of crime in our country today is of great concern as it erodes the sense of security in a nation.

Crime also causes emotional and psychological suffering in individuals and affects the accumulation of physical, human and social capital. Moreover, it destroys social infrastructure and discourages domestic and foreign investment. This undermines the ability of the economy to sustain growth and promote development. Overall, organized crime is the most damaging because it jeopardizes the viability of government.

In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the government had to recruit more police; increase funding for homeland security and improve living standards for officers.

Interest in crime and economic growth dates back to the father of economics, Adam Smith, who wrote about how people are driven by the accumulation of wealth. When moral obligations and social controls are weak and not strong enough to function effectively and control behavior, it leads to conflict, violence and crime. Therefore, the police have a mandate to prevent and control crime as agents of the government. Police failure to control and prevent crime, collapsing family values, prevalence of bribery and corruption, and high unemployment have all contributed to a further breakdown in law and order. public.

The relationship between the crime rate, the unemployment rate, the poverty rate, the level of corruption and the inflation rate negatively affects economic growth. Reform policies are needed to support economic growth by reducing poverty and corruption. The role of government is very strategic to boost the rate of economic growth, thus eradicating both public crime and financial crime such as corruption, is much needed. For this reason, synergy is needed to eradicate crime at all levels of society.

The government must develop a welfare program for children from broken homes and unemployed youth to prevent them from being used as tools for criminal activity. An important thing to note is that it is not just about creating employment opportunities and increasing economic activity, but also about improving the current real income of those who work so that inflation does not does not contribute to increasing poverty and income inequality in our country.

The police cannot fight crime alone; members of the public must learn to assist the police with vital information when needed. I believe these solutions will help reduce crime and improve domestic and foreign investment, and ultimately spur sustainable economic growth.

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