A joint Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) operation targeting suspected criminals has netted 57 suspects in Moroto town.
The suspects were accused of sleeping in incomplete houses, also under stalls at the roadside markets and breaking into houses. Those arrested include 47 males and 10 females.
Police however set free an eight-month pregnant woman who was also found drinking in the night.
According to Cadet Superintendent of Police in charge of operations at Moroto Central Police Station, Charles Denaya, those arrested were found past midnight at Labour Line, Moroto Municipality’s popular drinking spot.
He said the suspects pose a security threat to the public as they grab women’s necklaces, bags and phones.
Denaya further accused the suspects of stripping people naked in the night and assaulting innocent persons.
He also identified a Moroto prison warden Andrew Nyeko and UPDF soldier Pte. Dalton Mugande, who is accused of assaulting him and tearing his Police uniform as he resisted arrest.
“So we are going to screen them and later subject them to some hours of community service,” he said adding that the Police wanted to send a warning message to whoever is planning to behave in a similar manner.
The LC1 of Labour Line village, Joseph Achilla, asked Police to always use intelligence to check crime levels.
He pledged to support Police to intensify patrols in the area to ensure security for the residents saying the situation had run out hand.
The officer in charge Moroto Central Government Prison, William Awany, asked security personnel not to engage in overnight drinking.
“This type of life puts the health of our staff at risk,” he noted adding that soldiers should not stay in bars up to wee hours of the night.
Now, Police has targeted other areas within Moroto Municipality to ensure sanity returns to the town coupled with a fast growing population.
This is the second operation so far of its kind in the Municipality.
In 2009, the UPDF was able to recover UPDF and Police uniforms including assorted military wear in Moroto Municipality after a 10 hour search operation.