Officer in Charge of the Family Support Unit at the Tankoro Police Division, Mustapha Saidu Kamara, has revealed to Awoko that between January and May, they have dealt with 45 cases of teenage pregnancy, three rape cases and eight cases of unlawful carnal knowledge.
Mohamed Saidu Kamara said of the eight cases of unlawful carnal knowledge, they were able to charge to court six and that the remaining two were under police investigations and that two of the three rape cases had been charged to court.
Mr Kamara said the issue of teenage pregnancy involved school going children and that in most cases, parents only reported to the police after failing to get a settlement.
“We are covering nine chiefdoms and we are faced with numerous problems in our drive to minimize crimes against children. We are not having vehicles to aid us in investigating crimes. We are also faced with the responsibility of monitoring 36 porous borders”, Kamara noted.
He however refuted claims that rape had been in the increase in the district.
He paid tribute to the judicial system in Kono as according to him, “we are getting the cooperation of the judiciary especially following the transfer of a new magistrate to the town,” he noted.
Speaking to Alhaji MAT Foday, the principal of Islamic Secondary School in Koidu, he stated that the issue of pregnancy among students was indeed rampant and had become a concern to school authorities but cautioned that schools did not teach students to be pregnant. “We want them to be contributing to our national development and not to be dropouts,” he noted.
He disclosed that parents hardly reported to school authorities when their children got pregnant and that as a school there was nothing they could do when such things happened.
However, women aspiring for seats in the various councils in Kono have expressed concerns over issues of teenage pregnancy and rape.
During a training session by CGG and GEM, held for female aspirants at the CKumba Satta Amara Resource Centre, women called on the authorities concerned to look into the issues of teenage pregnancy and rape in that district.
Meanwhile, the Operations Officer at the Tankoro Division, Alfred Dassama has confirmed that violence and assaults are prevalent in the district but that with the cooperation of the community under the Community Policing Approach, the police force has been making headways in fighting crime.