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Aswa Region Police Intensifies Community Policing as Crime Rates Soar

Okema said that they registered 100 cases of domestic violence in June alone, of which three were aggravated in nature and resulted in death, 42 defilement cases, seven rape and three murders, among others. Police records show that cases of aggravated domestic violence; defilement, rape and murder are on the rise.
ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa Region Police Spokesperson

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Police in Aswa River Region has rolled out an intense community policing programme to address an increase in crime rates in the region. The region comprises eight districts of Pader, Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo, Omoro, Kitgum, Nwoya and Agago.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Region’s Police Public Relations Officer told URN in an interview that they are witnessing an increase in crime following the far-reaching impacts of novel Coronavirus Disease, compounded by poverty and alcohol abuse in the region.

Okema said that they registered 100 cases of domestic violence in June alone, of which three were aggravated in nature and resulted in death, 42 defilement cases, seven rape and three murders, among others. Police records show that cases of aggravated domestic violence; defilement, rape and murder are on the rise. There is also a rise in incidences of suicide, land wrangles and theft of livestock, especially in Lamwo and Agago Districts.

Okema said that as a result, the police has turned to village councils, religious and cultural leaders to engage the population in the region to embrace psycho-social counselling in order to avoid conflicting with the laws of the country.

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Thomas Oboma, the Chairperson of Acholi Sub Region Bodaboda Association observed that they have lost five riders from his group, three of whom were gunned down in an attempt to break mobile money shops in Gulu City while two were killed by a mob in Omoro District.

In a separate interview with URN, Gulu Resident District Commissioner Maj. Santos Okot Lapolo asserted that while some of the crimes are happening in isolation, police backed by the military have been able to enforce overall safety of the people and their property,

The 2019 Police Annual Crime report ranked Aswa region with the highest cases of domestic violence reported to the police. The region recorded up to 1,131 cases, followed by East Kyoga with 985 cases and North Kyoga with 808 cases.

According to the same report, Aswa was the 7th leading region in Uganda with 739 defilement cases after East Kyoga – 945, Elgon – 922, Greater Massaka 898, North Kyoga – 893, Bukedi – 830 and Busoga East – 759. The report further placed the region 7th with 73 cases of rape.