Crime preventer arrested over impersonating Gulu DPC

Police in Aswa region have arrested a renowned local musician-turned crime preventer for allegedly impersonating Gulu District Police Commander (DPC) with intent to extort money from the public.

Loketo Lee, 35, a resident of Laroo division in Gulu municipality is a common figure at Gulu Central police station making many question whether he is a police officer or a crime preventer.

On Saturday, Loketo’s luck ran out when he tried to con Charles Atube, a resident of Koro Lapainat in Omoro district. He allegedly approached and demanded for Shs 100,000 from Atube to 'settle out' his case at the police as the DPC.

Atube however was not convinced by Loketo's unconventional approach and reported him to police who later accompanied him to hand over the money from a location in front of Smiling Panda,a hangout adjacent to the police headquarters.

Aswa regional police spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema

Loketo was given Shs 70,000 which he accepted and was immediately arrested and detained at Gulu central police station on Saturday.

Aswa regional police spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema told reporters in Gulu that the Police Professional Standard Unit referred Loketo’s case for investigation after he was found to be a crime preventer, not a police officer as earlier claimed.

Okema says the suspect’s file is ready for sanctioning but he has been released on bond.

"We have his file ready but we had to release him on bond because of the prosecutors’ strike. We shall charge him for either conning or extortion depending on the advise from the Resident State Attorney", said Okema.

He added that members of the public should be on the look out for crime preventers who exceed their mandate to exploit others.

"The are people who go to others in the name of police. Crime preventers are not supposed to be at the police stations, they are to be at their various locations to report and effect arrests.  If you say there are crime preventers who always sit at the police station, we shall investigate that as well." Okema added.

Crime preventers are a group of 3,000 individuals selected in every district in Uganda to aid police in averting crime in the community where they live due to the few number of police officers against the high population in the country.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd