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Police Unitports Lie Idle In Lamwo

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Joachin Ocan Opoka, the Lokung Sub County LC III Chairperson told URN in an interview that they have been operating without police officers for the past two and half years, yet their houses were constructed.
Joachin Ocan Opoka, shows the Police Uniports that were erected but never occupied by police officers at Lokung Subcounty Headquarters Lamwo District. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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Uniports erected by the Uganda Police Force to accommodate officers at Lokung Sub county headquarters police post in Lamwo District are lying idle. 

The four Uniports were erected shortly after Lokung Sub County headquarter was relocated to Kila Kony Paco Village in Licwa Parish in March 2017, some six kilometers away from Lokung Trading center.

 

Joachin Ocan Opoka, the Lokung Sub County LC III Chairperson told URN in an interview that they have been operating without police officers for the past two and half years, yet their houses were constructed. 

He notes that one of the Uniports has since collapsed because no one has taken interest in managing it.

According to Ocan, the absence of police officers at the Sub County Headquarters has made their work to stop crime impossible and notes that crime levels have short up recently.

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He says the nearest police posts are at Ngomoromo Border Police Post and Lokung trading center, about 27 and six kilometers away respectively

Ngomoromo Border Police post has two police officers comprising of the Officer in charge of the post and a criminal investigative officer.

Ocan says their plea to have police officers deployed at the Sub county headquarter to ensure law and order have not yielded results, adding that most of the police officers were instead taken to the refugee settlement.

He has appealed to the District Police Commander to ensure deployment of at least two armed police officers to help curb growing crime in his area.

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The Officer in Charge of Lamwo Police Station, Mashuid Ssemwogerere acknowledges the dire shortage of police officers in the district, which has prompted them not to deploy at Lokung Sub County Headquarters.

Ssemwogerere says personnel shortage has forced them to close four police posts in Apiata, Apiriti, Padibe west and Padibe East that were only being manned by two police officers each because of fears of insecurity.

According to Ssemwogerere deployment in some of the existing police posts may only be boosted if they get more personnel from the current lot undergoing training.

“Our man power is limited at the moment; we have closed down some police posts because it became a risk to have only two police officers manning a police post. Our hope is that once the recruits undergoing training pass out, the district will get allocated some men,” he says.

There are 13 sub counties and three town councils in Lamwo district with less than 100 police officers manning security in the district. A total of 4,500 probation police constables – PPCs and 500 learner assistant inspectors of police – AIPs are undergoing training at Police Training School – PTS at Kabalye in Masindi District. 

Once passed out, they are expected to bridge the staffing gap in the police force in the country.