The Police Command in Gombe State says it received over 250 reports of rape across the state in 2020.
Maikudi Shehu, the Commissioner of Police (CP), disclosed this while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Gombe.
Shehu said that though crimes of various kinds were declining in view of the proactive measures his Command had put in place, rape of minors had become a trending issue in the state.
According to him, over 200 suspects had been charged to courts and “the perpetrators are usually above 50 years old, abusing children of between three years and six years”.
“The cases of defilement of children by adults for either ritual purposes or for pleasure have steadily been climbing up,” the police commissioner lamented.
Shehu added that in the year under review, the Command also received 10 reports of sodomy between June and December, adding that the Command did not receive any case from January to June.
“The issue is worrisome and we have discussed it with Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State. He welcomed our recommendations in that regard while promising to invite relevant stakeholders for sensitisation,” he said.
Shehu advised parents not to always wash away incriminating evidence of crime on their children, but to take the affected child to the hospital immediately for proper examination.
He appealed to religious and community leaders to discourage rape and sodomy in worship centres as a way of helping to mould the morals of the youth rightly.
Shehu said that cases of kidnapping in the state had reduced, adding that the only challenge was a community in Gombe south.
“We have deployed our personnel there and the report from there in the last three days have been impressive,” he said.
The Commissioner advised residents of the state to be careful as they celebrated Christmas, adding that “if you see more than one person inside a Keke Napep and your conscience is somehow, do not board”.
He assured residents that the police would ensure safety of lives and properties during the Yuletide, while urging the public to provide the police with useful information to nip crimes in the bud. (NAN)