Security in Gulu City has apprehended 208 youth in a crackdown on suspected street thugs.
The impromptu operations were conducted by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Layibi-Bardege and Pece-Laroo Divisions on Sunday night.
The crackdown follows rising levels of crime within Gulu city center and its outskirts involving armed thugs.
Brig Bonny Bamwiseki, the fourth Infantry Division Commander told journalists at a press conference on Monday that one of out of the 208 suspects is a female.
He notes that the majority of the suspects are youth who were picked from areas known to host criminals and at the wrong hours.
Brig. Bamwiseki says some of the suspects ended up on the streets of Gulu City as a result of domestic violence, negligence by parents, or poor upbringing.
Brig. Bamwiseki says whereas the suspects are from the streets, they shouldn’t be condemned but have to be offered solutions to restoring their lives through vocational training.
The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, David Ongom Mudong says the operation was randomly done in response to the growing concerns of locals on insecurity.
He says the suspects will undergo screening to ascertain those linked to crime in the city before their files are forwarded to the Resident State Attorney for advice before they are arraigned before court.
Mudong says they will make the operation a routine to rid the city of criminals who are capable of causing insecurity.
Gulu City and the neighboring districts of Nwoya, Omoro, and Amuru have registered a rise in crime with the perpetrators armed with guns targeting Motorcyclists.
A week ago, unknown gunmen shot dead a motorcyclist in Gulu City before taking away his motorcycle. This brought to four the number, of motorcyclists killed in similar manners since January this year.
More than 90 motorcycles have reportedly been stolen by thugs within Gulu City since the year began according to statistics provided by Emmy Ocen, the Gulu City West Boda Boda Association Chairperson.