By Gladys Nanyombi
The Annual crime report released by the Uganda Police Force on Monday has shown that 14134 girls were defiled in Uganda in the year 2020.
According to the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola, their was a 3.8 increase from the 13613 reported cases of the year 2019.
“Of the 14134 defilement cases, 9954 victims were between the age of 15 and 17 while 2986 were between the age of 14 and 9 and 1280 were below the age of 8”, Ochola said.
Mr, Ochola added that 1528 girls where reported cases of rape in the year 2020 with a 0.5 increase from the 1519 cases reported in the year 2019
He reported that the victims of defilement are due to adolescent age where many young girls are taken advantage of by older men in societies and some are defiled in the process of doing domestic work especially when sent alone.
“Victims of defilement are due to some cultural norms still practiced where girls who have developed breasts are considered ready for marriage and others have fallen victims while doing house chores like collecting water, firewood when they are sent alone”, Ochola said.
Addressing the media at the launch of the report, Mr.Ochola said Uganda Police Force had registered a 8.9 decrease of crimes in the year 2020 and he attributed the decrease to the total lock down of the country which happened between March and June 2020 inorder to curb the spread of covid-19 and the improved time of response by the police institutions of emergencies.
He added that a total of 301 children were defiled by persons living with HIV and 120 children were defiled by their parents.
He reported that Katwe police division registered the highest number of defilement cases with 252 cases followed by Kamuli district with 236 cases,Mbale with 230 cases,Buyende with 207 cases, Mukono with 193 cases, Tororo with 188 cases, Buikwe with 186 cases , Kirandongo with 185 cases and Luweero with 174 cases
MR Ochola noted there was a 4.7 reduction in the number of crashes reported in 2020 from 12858 crashes reported in 2019 to 12249 crashes reported in 2020 out of which 3269 were fatal, 5803 were serious and 3177 were minor .
According to the report, Katwe Police Division in Kampala at 252 registered the highest number of defilement cases followed by Kamuli at 236, Mbale(230),Buyende(207),Mukono(193), Tororo(188), Buikwe(186), Kiryandongo(185) and Luweero(174) as the top ten districts.
According to the report, 1519 women were reported in the year 2020, a 0.5% increase from 1528 , a number registered in the year 2019.
Other sex related offences
The report that covers the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, indicated that there were 354 cases of indecent assault , 58 cases of incest and 79 cases of unnatural offences.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola said in the previous annual crime report, police identified some of the challenges in fulfilling their mandate, adding that there was improvement in the year 2020.
“In this 2020 Annual Crime Report, we account for the progress the Institution made in fulfilling its objectives and set out a new crime plan, including how we are to tackle the key priorities. Generally, in the year 2020, there was 8.9% decrease in the volume of crimes reported to Police from 215,224 cases reported in 2019 to 195,931 cases reported in the year 2020,”Ochola said.
Ochola however said the report will allow members of the public understand and analyze the emerging crime trends locally.
“The trends of crimes keep changing with the growing population and rapid development of the country. It highlights crimes that take place especially against women, children and weaker sections of the society and a growing concern for everyone.”
According to Ochola, the Coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent measures like the lockdown exacerbated the matter.
Whereas these are the numbers reported by police, many other cases of defilement and rape remain unreported because of a number of issues including threatening death to victims by the perpetrators.
Many other victims of defilement have seen their caretakers negotiate deals with the suspects and receive money in exchange for dropping of cases.
For women, many fear to report incidents of rape for fear of embarrassment.