The Inspector General of Police Lt. General Kale Kayihura on Friday afternoon issued a statement assuring Ugandans of security as they celebrate the Easter holiday.
In the message, the Police boss says the force with the help of other security agencies is working to “to decisively reverse this trend, and ensure your security and safety, especially during this festive Easter season.”. He has also called upon members of the public to “Do what is expected of us in terms of keeping security and safety”.
The Police boss’ reassurances comes at the back drop of gun attacks in the capital Kampala and weeks after gunmen attacked Mbuya Military barracks, one of the country’s military citadels although the army was quick to dismiss the incidence as an attempt by thugs to steal a gun. The attackers were repulsed and their leader apprehended.
Only last week, a city businessman was gunned down while a Police post in Entebbe was a few weeks back attacked. These increasingly scattered incidents have raised fear among many Ugandans and the police chief’s message will come as a relief.
Below is the Police boss’ full statement;
EASTER MESSAGE OF REASSURANCE
As we begin the Easter season, there is understandable anxiety in the public about the recent spate of murders, and other violent crimes in the City and other parts of the country. However, I take this opportunity to reassure the country that the Uganda Police, supported by the other security agencies, as well as the vigilant members of the public, is exerting all efforts to decisively reverse this trend, and ensure your security and safety, especially during this festive Easter season.
In fact it is true, the incidence of violent crimes since the beginning of the year is unacceptable, and must be reversed. Indeed, we are succeeding to reverse this trend.
Take the example of murder by shooting. If we compare the crime statistics for the same period (January, February, March) in 2012, there were 61 murders by shooting, while this year, for the same period, the incidence declined to 34 murders by shooting. In addition, this year we are succeeding in reducing the incidence of these crimes, as indicated by the month by month statistics.
While in January, there were 17 murders by shooting, in February they reduced to 11 murders, and this month, March, the incidence has drastically declined to 3 murders.Of course, these successes are not by accident. They are a consequence of increased vigilance of the Police and the other security agencies, as well as vigilance and cooperation of the population.
In addition, in most of the cases, the perpetrators and their collaborators, have been apprehended, even in the last case in Kasese, last night, two suspects, who trailed the deceased businessman after he had got money, are in Police custody. Indeed, many thugs have been arrested, and are, either facing prosecution in courts of law, or their case files are at different stages of processing by the CID working together with the office of the DPP.
Who, you may ask, are these thugs visiting misery on the people? The perpetrators are mainly repeat offenders, hardened criminals, who have, either served their sentences, or are on bail. Motives range from property/land/domestic wrangles, and robberies by organized criminal gangs, especially in the City and its suburbs.
Given the above mentioned positive developments that I have enumerated, and while we are not, and cannot be, proud of these crime statistics, as indeed, even a single preventable loss of life is one too many, and, as the statistics can never be a consolation to those who lost loved ones, nevertheless, the statistics show that the situation is improving, and that there is, therefore, no cause for panic or fear.
Instead, let us fast track the building of the community policing system which is the real answer to the spectrum of crime and security threats, ranging from fighting terrorism, riots, violent crimes, to common simple crimes. The building blocks of this system, which combines, and integrates the (skills, knowledge, equipment of the Police, security agencies, with the vigilance of the population) are the following:
• Individual security consciousness
• Premises security
• Neighbourhood Watch (based on the LC I and crime preventers)
• Patrols/surveillance, foot, motor cycle, motor vehicle
• Effective investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases
• Building Crime prevention Data
• Problem solving
Indeed, community policing is a proven crime prevention strategy. It works if all us can be committed to its realization. It is, in fact, frustrating that lives which could be saved, as well as robberies , rape, defilement, muggings, which could be prevented are not prevented simply because we have failed to play our part. I should emphasize that policing is more than Police.
That is why in Article 212 of the Constitution, which provides for the functions of the Uganda Police, states under sub section(d) that, to carry out its mandate, the Uganda Police must cooperate with “civil authorities, other security organs, and the population generally”.
Therefore, if each and every one of us, individually, collectively, institutionally, do what is expected of us in terms of keeping security and safety, the few thugs, who unfortunately are part of the body fabric of the Ugandan society, like any other society anywhere in the world, will find they have no room to maneuver, that they are now the hunted and not the hunter.
I wish you all a Happy, Peaceful, and enjoyable Easter Holiday. Working together we shall win.
Lt Gen Kale Kayihura
Inspector General of Police