During holidays children become victims of crimes such as murder (child sacrifice), defilement, abduction, indecent assault, prostitution and nude-dancing.
Some children may be offenders who think they are not liable.
However, according to the laws of Uganda the age of criminal responsibility is 12 years. Itâ€™s only children under 12 who cannot be charged in courts of law for any offence.
Any person above that age is responsible for his or her actions. Children get involved in crime because of various reasons.
There are social causes which may be a result of social problems like family breakups, divorces, single parentage and AIDS.
Young people without parents miss the chance to be sensitized on the dangers of crime and how to overcome it. Economic causes include poverty and unemployment. Some young people do not know how to live within their means.
This leads them into crimes like pickpocketing, theft, prostitution and others, in order to get money so that they can maintain high standards. Peer pressure is also a problem.
Most young people move in bad company, which makes them to be victims of crime or offenders. Some of your childâ€™s friends may be involved in smoking bangi, prostitution, nude dancing, drug abuse and other crimes.
Juveniles by their nature are vulnerable since they depend on their families, friends, relatives and teachers for guidance. Some of these may take advantage of their vulnerability and involve them in crime.
Crimes like defilement, indecent assault, homosexuality and others are perpetrated by those known to the children. Influence of western culture is also to blame.
Reading pornographic materials like magazines, newspapers, watching films and surfing the internet can lead children to wrong materials.
As the saying goes, â€œprevention is better than cure.â€ Parents, guardians and other stakeholders should take precautionary measures in order to prevent children from being offenders or victims of crime during the holiday period.
A child should not move alone at all times especially while going to the well or to the shop because she is prone to abduction for child sacrifice, defilement, murder and other crimes.
Discourage children from getting close to strangers they find on the way. Those who give them eats like biscuits, sweets and chocolate are very dangerous.
They can put chroloform in the eats.
Do not trust your children with close relatives of the opposite sex like uncles, housekeepers or neighbours because they can turn around and defile them or subject them to torture instead of protecting them.
Video halls, pubs and disco halls should be no-go zones for children below 18 years of age.
These have contributed to the crime because the children watch nude dances and blue movies there.
The children will later want to put into practice what they have watched on the stage or screen. Restrict movements of your children.
Holiday makers have a habit of flocking to the beach for leisure.
These are venues for crimes like defilement, homosexuality and lesbianism. Parents and guardians should be strict on the dress code especially for girls.
During holidays girls put on mini-skirts and tight jeans which attract men to them.
Parents and guardians should spare time to create awareness and sensitise children about crime and how to overcome it.
Encourage children to listen to crime prevention messages on FM radio stations and to read newspaper articles on the same.
Your child may not be safe in holidays