The Gombe State Police Command has said it received reports of not less than 43 rape cases between January and July 2023.
The state Commissioner of Police, Oqua Etim, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Monday.
Etim, who said the crime was a major challenge in the state, revealed that 37 of the reported cases had been charged to court while six were still under investigation.
He said the cases received were worrisome because the victims included minors while in some cases perpetrators were family members.
Etim added that while arrests of perpetrators who were eventually charged to court had been intensified, concerted advocacy was being carried out to check the rising cases of sexual abuse in the state.
The police boss said the command was collaborating with stakeholders at the grassroots and intensifying advocacy to address the challenge.
Etim expressed worry over the unwillingness of rape victims and their family members to report rape cases to the police.
He stressed that rape cases should not be covered but exposed for proper prosecution of perpetrators in the interest of the victims, the society and to serve as a deterrent.
He said, “We have had cases of people mounting pressure on us claiming that they don’t want people to know and stigmatise them, but we always insist that a crime is a crime.