Police advise schools to check returning pupils for signs of abuse during the holidays

By Salmah Namwanje

The Uganda Police has asked teachers and school nurses to be more cautious and take time to speak to children when they return from holidays. The Police say often times young children are subjected to abuse during the long holidays; the force therefore encourages teachers and nurses to respond with care and urgency, while handling children victimized during the holiday.

According to police crime reports, cases of defilement stood at 17,395 in 2017 and 14,985 in 2016 affecting both boys and girls. Domestic violence stood at 13,132 in 2016 and 2017 report captured 15,325 cases.

The police say teachers should work with police officers in their respective localities and other professional social workers to help the victims heal from the harm and the perpetrators prosecuted.

Parents also buy into this idea saying that many of them leave homes very early in the morning for work and sometimes fail to take grip of what transpires during day. They therefore look at police’s involvement as a positive move.

Relatedly the police also advised school administrators to conduct thorough inspection and screening process on the reporting day and beyond to ensure to avoid students smuggling in illegal items.

Items like polythene bags, electrical gadgets including video games and other flame based products like candles, lighters, matches among others which are major fire hazards, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, energy drinks, glass bottles, unnecessary cash and expensive items, and any other items which are deemed illegal and inappropriate for the age of the child or school environment.

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