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Police Officer Arrested in Lira as 7 Suspects Escape

A special police constable attached to Lira Central police station has been arrested over alleged negligence that led to the escape of seven suspects on Wednesday.
A special police constable attached to Lira Central police station has been arrested over alleged negligence that led to the escape of seven suspects on Wednesday.

Geoffrey Awany, who has been in the force since 2006, was arrested on Wednesday.

Lira district police commander Robert Ssematta says the suspects reportedly broke the cell’s door and escaped in the wee hours of Wednesday when the guard was a sleep.

Ssematta says out of the 31 suspects whom they had in the different cells at Lira Central Police Station, seven from one cell escaped.

The DPC says the suspects escaped due to the laxity by the officer on duty and that he would be charged with negligence of duty contrary to section 114 of the penal code act.

Once found guilty the officer could be dismissed from the force or be reprimanded according to section 19 of the Police Act.

He however declined divulging details and particulars of the escapees saying they are on high alert hunting for the suspects.

Patrick Mawerere, officer in charge Lira Central Police Station, says investigations are underway.

On Friday last week, 10 suspects escaped from the police cell at Dokolo Central station, an incident that saw two police officers being arrested.

Central North Regional Police commander Micheal Mugabi says the suspects escaped during a heavy downpour while the guard had also gone to take shelter in another building. Mugabi says they have deployed several security operatives and detectives to hunt for the escapees.

 

Cases of inmates escaping from custody have been on the rise this year.

In July this year, five police officers were arrested in Arua after four suspects escaped from custody. The officers were picked up after investigations revealed that they had had a hand in the cell break-in.

In February, another seven prisoners escaped from Rubirizi central police station but three of them were re-arrested.

In 2011, a total of282 inmates escaped from the 227 prisons in the country, while in 2010, 327 inmates escaped while in 2006 over 1,000 prisoners escaped from lawful custody.

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