Lawlessness: Gulu city security operatives arrest criminal gangs

GULU– A joint security operation launched in Gulu city to apprehend criminal gangs has yielded positive results, with some key arrests being made, which should prevent the rise in crime rates in that city.

The security operation composed of officers of Uganda Police Force [UPF] and Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF] was launched on Tuesday targeting dark spots that the criminal gangs use to hide as they target victims, who are in most cases boda boda riders.

At least 283 suspected criminals were arrested in a two days night operation, 188 were released on Wednesday afternoon after screening while 95 were detained pending prosecution.

The Aswa River Region Police Public Relations Officer, David Mudong confirmed the development saying the suspects were involved in different crimes ranging from murder, robbery, and theft among others.

The Residence City Commissioner for Gulu Frances Jane Okili disclosed in an interview with theCooperator on Wednesday that the ongoing operation aimed at protecting the City from gangsters.

She however revealed that the intelligence report indicates that some of the suspects were the juveniles abandoned by their parents and ended up on the streets.

“Some of them don’t have a home and we are looking at how the government can come in to skill them and give them startup capital,” Okili told the Cooperator.

Meanwhile, the local leaders in the city have accused police of partnering with suspects to extort money from the people.

Vincent Ocan, the LCI Chairperson Industrial area in Bardege-Layibi Division revealed that the police have continued to receive bribes from the criminals and set them free.

Ocan also alleged that within the forces itself, there are officers who connive with the criminals to steal from the public as they share the money.

“There was a time we arrested some criminals who we knew were terrorizing the area and handed them to police, but only Shs 50,000 was enough to set them free,” Ocan allegedly said.

The area LCI Chairperson, Go-down Cell, in the same division, similarly complained of elements of criminality within the police force itself, which he said has failed crime management in the city.

However, several people have been soft targets of the criminal gang attacks in the city, with boda boda operators being the most targeted.

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