Police Investigates Crime Preventers for Extortion

1754 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for North Western Uganda told URN that they have received complaints from most of the districts in West Nile on the wanting conduct of the crime preventers.

Police in West Nile are investigating and vetting all crime preventers in the region following reports of extortion from members of the public.

The Regional Police Commander Fredrick Ssegirinya directed officers across the region to investigate the reports with a view of apprehending those involved harassing members of the public, extortion, conducting arrests and any other duty that is not within their mandate.

Josephine Angucia, the Police spokesperson for North Western Uganda told URN that they have received complaints from most of the districts in West Nile on the wanting conduct of the crime preventers.

Angucia adds that the public should wary against crime preventers who are involved in arresting suspects because this is not within their mandate. She says the role of crime preventers is to detect, assess and report crime timely for police to act.
 
Cue in: "Some members of the Community"
Cue out… "Inform the nearest Police"
 
Joseph Odama, a victim of illegal activities by crime preventers says that the rate at which they are involved in illegalities is alarming. Odama adds that knowing about the role of crime preventers in the community would save the public against harassment and extortion.
 
Cue in: "The issue of crime preventers"
Cue out… "Is alarming"
 
Jonathan Musinguzi, the Arua District Police Commander says crime preventers are supposed to remain at their respective villages to avert crime and should not therefore be involved in patrol and arrests.
 
 Cue in: "Our guidelines"
Cue out… "Not acceptable"
 
However, George Opio, the Secretary for Security in Arua hill division observed that often members of public equally bribe crime preventers in order to block arrests and further investigations against them.

Opio says because the crime preventers are not paid salaries like police, they accept bribes in execution of their duties in order to earn a living.

Cue in: "Crime preventers"
Cue out… "Was released"

Early this year, two crime preventers from Maracha district were fired after it was discovered that they stole a property belonging to a woman in the district while conducting patrol at night. While in Arua, on June 2, 2015, a crime preventer from River Oli division was arrested and detained over allegations of rape.