The Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Police Service, ASP Emmanuel Holortu has bemoaned the spate of interference by chiefs at his outfit.
He said the attitude of the chiefs and other opinion leaders is thwarting the efforts of his Unit to ensure speedy delivery of justice. He attributed the habitual settlement of cases of domestic violence by the traditional authorities especially in rural communities rather than reporting such cases to the appropriate legal bodies, to the traditional and cultural setting of the people.
He told Bishara news that such interference has been a major obstacle to the effective discharge of their duties over the years.
“Most times in the course of investigation, we abandon it because a chief will call the people involved to threaten that the case happen in their community so the complainants must report to them and not the Police”, he said, adding that complainants who go against this directive face banishment from such communities.
He revealed that, the region, in the year 2013 recorded 514 abuse cases as against against 379 in the year 2012.
The year 2013 recorded 420 case of violence again women as against 302 in the year 2012.
The wide spread of violence cases ranged from rape, violence against women sexual harassment, trafficking for sexual exploitation, non-maintenance of Children, child abandonment, among others.
The Unit recorded 23 incidence of Defilement in 2012 and 38 in the year 2013. 74 cases of Non-maintenance of children were recorded in 2012 while 2013 was 92.
Physical assaults recorded a figure of 163 last year against 145. He attributed the increases in figures to the various activities the unit embarked on to educate the public on the need to report violent cases against them.
He admitted that, even though the unit’s education was yielding dividends as people now freely come to report, crime rate in the region was also rising. ASP Holortu opined that people should see the police the as part of the social structure and therefore report cases to the police for legal action to be taken thereby finding solution to their predicaments.
“The police is part of the social structure to help maintain law and order and also protect the lives of citizens so people should feel free and relate with the police. It is not every dispute that the chiefs can settle especially criminal cases, are above the mandate of the chiefs and should be reported to the police for swift intervention”.
ASP Emmanuel Holortu was optimistic that, 2014 was going to record more abuse cases as his outfit has already outlined a number of activities to embark on in various communities in the region.
According to him, the unit will not rest on its oars in prosecuting perpetrators to deter others.
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