Juvenile Crime Soars as Campaigns Fall Flat

Comments 1130 Views Fort Portal, Uganda
The number of minor offenders in Kabarole is increasing despite of the campaign launched by the district to stop minors from engaging in crimes.
Last year, Kabarole district administration and the community based services department launched a campaign code named desist from crime, protect your future. It was intended at addressing issues that lead children to engage in criminal activities.

It involved area politicians, police officers and officers from the department of community based services visiting schools and homes, encouraging the children to avoid crimes and make informed choices that will have a positive effect on their development. 

However the campaign has not yielded any positive results as more children are engaging in various crimes. Statistics at Fort Portal police station show that more than six cases of children aged 10-15 years involved in crime, are reported daily.
Some of the common crimes are theft and use of drugs. 40 children are held at Kitumba remand home yet the facility is supposed to accommodate twenty inmates.
Hamilton Isoke, the head teacher Kahinju Primary School says that no local leaders and community based services have visited the school to sensitize the children about crime.
Isoke says that the school endeavors to talk to the children about the dangers of crime but they still need support from parents and local leaders especially the local council chairpersons.
He says that several of his pupils have been arrested for house breaking at night but some of the parents and the leaders seem not to bother to talk to the children because of the busy schedules at work.
Isoke blames the councilors for failing to implement the campaign and yet they were the initiators. 
//Cue in: “the campaign being a failure…”
Cue out: “…we can’t have an impact.”//
Geoffrey Asaba, a resident of Harukoto village in Fort Portals says that the campaign was necessary because some children do not know the consequences of committing crime.
He says that the campaign was supposed to take place in the village but there was none.
Asaba says that when juveniles are arrested and released, they are not counseled by the parents or local leaders and as a result, they may engage in more crimes.

However Shamilah Kakungulu, the Kabarole district probation officer blames some parents for not showing interest in the campaign.
She says that whenever parents were invited for meetings, they failed to attend.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is the Kabarole URN bureau chief. Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.

A Journalism graduate, Kajubu started out as a freelancer for The New Vision newspaper in 2004 based in Fort Portal, Kabarole.

Kajubu is interested in public policy, politics, health, crime and the environment. He is a trainer with Farm Radio International (FRI) and chairperson of the Tooro Median Practitioners Association (TOMPA).