FULL REPORT: We Reduced Crime by 15 percent – Former Deputy IGP Sabiiti


Former Deputy IGP Maj. Gen. Steven Muzeyi Sabiiti has listed the number of achievements he made while at the helm of Uganda Police for 2 years and 10 months.

He was relieved of his duties on December 16 and replaced by Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech, a battle-hardened UPDF combat popular for dismantling the Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia. He was thus nicknamed “the lion of Mogadishu.”

As he handed over to his successor, Gen. Sabiiti profiled the successes he enlisted while in the Police.

Below is Sabiiti’s full report he presented to the nation on Monday at the Police head offices in Kampala.

REPORT

1.I was appointed the Deputy Inspector General of Police by the President and Commander in Chief on 4th March 2018, and took over office on 19 March 2018. Today, it is exactly 2 years, 10 months and 02 days of serious work and the results are encouraging.

2.The mandate of the Uganda Police Force is:

            (a)        To protect life and property.

            (b)        To preserve law and order.

            (c)        To prevent and detect crime.

            (d)        To cooperate with the civilian authority and other security organs established under the Uganda Constitution and with the population generally.

3.This handover report is a scorecard of our performance in line with the above mandate, in my view and most especially backed up by facts/statistics as reported in the two annual crime reports of 2018 and 2019, including the yet to be published crime report of 2020.

Fighting Crime

4.We came into office at the height of kidnaps, gun crime, attacks on investors and other violent crimes. In 2018 alone, we brought kidnaps to almost zero and defeated eighteen (18) organized criminal syndicates. In 2019, we busted and defeated ten (10) additional organized criminal syndicates. In total, we were able to defeat 28 organized criminal syndicates, as attached under annex A and B. These gangs committed a number of violent crimes of murders, aggravated robbery, and other serious offences.   The attacks on investors were also defeated. A total of 87 organized criminals that were targeting factories were arrested in 52 cases and are facing trial in courts of law. Guns recovered in 2018 were 167 with 2,284 rounds and in 2019 were 137 with 1,535 rounds of ammunition in several operations across the country.

5.General crime has also been deliberately and effectively tackled through well-selected, planned and targeted operations. From our analysis, the biggest contributor to the crime was theft. This is because 25.8% of all the cases reported in 2019 were attributed to theft. That is why we targeted markets of stolen items (shops and garages). As a result, we registered 9.2% decrease in the theft of mobile phones, 4.4% decrease in theft of motor vehicles, 7.8% decrease in theft of motorcycles, 7.8% decrease in breakings, 7% decrease in burglary, 8% decrease in robberies, etc. We also targeted profiled hardcore criminals known to operate in the various parts of the country especially KMP. A number of them were arrested and in partnership with the JLOS partners, they are being prosecuted in the courts of law.

6.Operations were carried out to target the markets (shops and garages) for stolen/vandalized items such as phones, motorcycles (or motorcycle spare parts) and vandalized utility infrastructure for electricity, water and rail infrastructure codenamed “Tokoora”.  On 24/10/2019, a number of recoveries were made as indicated below:

(a)suspected stolen/robbed electronics such as mobile phones (6,808), laptops (527), desktop computers (10 central processing units, 38 computer hard drives, etc.), TV sets (15 pieces).

(b)Suspected stolen motorcycles and motorcycle spare parts. 141 motorcycles, 15 motorcycle engines, 19 motorcycle engine shells, 43 sacks of assorted spare parts, etc. This is the time they were targeting riders and robbing them of their motorcycles.

7.The other strategy was to enhance cooperation with our regional neighbours through INTERPOL to deny the criminals freedom of action, regional markets and break their networks. Under our tenure, we also conducted simultaneous operations with 15 countries of Eastern Africa Police Cooperation (EAPCCO) and Southern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation SAPCO) targeting transnational crimes namely: terrorism, trafficking in drugs, trafficking in persons, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, theft of motor vehicles where a number of high performance motor vehicles were recovered and are due to be repatriated to their countries of origin.

Prevention and detection of crime

8.The main strategy was to build and strengthen crime intelligence, strengthen community policing, strengthen criminal investigations (CID and Forensic Science) and deliberately building our anti-crime infrastructure.

(a) Crime Intelligence. We have deliberately vetted, trained, equipped and deployed personnel to Crime Intelligence Directorate to boost its capacity to detect and deter crime. Crime Intelligence is tasked with dealing with crime generally but also detecting and dealing with internal threats to the force (counterintelligence).

(b)Community Policing remains the central pillar of our strategy in prevention and detection of crime. The Police has been dealing with the public to sensitize them (on matters of their security) through the community liaison officers (CLOs), the RPCs and DPCs. Wanainchi are supposed to report to the Police through the Police counter phones at the stations and posts. The coverage of these counter phones is not yet 100%, but its above 70%. These counter phones are supposed to be manned 24hrs daily and must be known to the public in order for them to report crime for action.

(c) Investigations: The Directorate of Criminal Investigations links the Police to the Justice system for prosecution. Deterrent sentences are key in crime prevention. We have profiled a number of repeat offenders and shared with our JLOS partners to ensure that serious action is taken against them. The Directorate of Forensic Sciences has also been reinforced with professionals and necessary equipment to support investigations.

(d) Anti-crime infrastructure: We have been able to progressively build anti-crime infrastructure.

(i) As chairman CCTV installation steering committee, I can report that we have been able to complete 97% of phase one (KMP) and embarked on phase two which is at 72%. Phase 2 is expected to be completed by 28th May 2021. The existing infrastructure is manned (with trained personnel) and is operational. Additional skilled manpower was also recruited and the recruits have already reported to the training school.

(ii) Forensic capacitation

(aa)We have been able to install fourteen (14) out of the 18 targeted installations in KMP with the Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS). The workstations for conversion of fingerprints are being installed in the remaining 04 Divisions of KMP including INTERPOL. In addition to these, we have already acquired money for live scans for eight (08) stations outside KMP- Jinja, Gulu, Iganga, Arua, Fortportal, Mbarara, Mbale and Masindi. This system has already helped us in identifying 750 repeat offenders.

(ab)The DNA equipment was acquired and is being installed. It will help us to analyze crime scene samples like: hair, sweat, saliva, blood, semen, vaginal secretions, etc.

(ac)      Integrated Ballistics Information Systems is running and has enabled us to link firearms in 144 different cases across the country from 2018 to date.

(iii) Gun fingerprinting. The exercise is ongoing, but we have been able to collect finger print samples for 96.7% of the Police guns, 99.98% of the Prisons firearms, 87.4% of the Private Security firearms and 50% of the individual firearms (program was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic).

(iv)Criminal Records Management System (CRMS). The CRMS is being developed and so far 59 officers have been trained.

(v)Flying squad unit was re-established to support crime investigations in 2018 and the unit has contributed immensely to the fight against, especially violent crime.

Preservation of law and order

9.The core of preservation of law and order lies in effective strategies  that prevent crime or increase the fear of committing crime. Some of these strategies have been covered under the different mandates earlier explained, like strengthening Police-Public collaboration and accountability. SOPs have also been developed to guide troops while executing their mandate. In order to improve response and visibility, we reconstituted the 999 patrol system, reactivated crime intelligence-led operations and ensuring prosecution led investigations for to ensure successful conviction of offenders.

10. Public order management has traditionally been challenging given that it usually involves balancing the interests of the political actors and rights of the innocent members of the public whose business is disrupted by often rowdy processions and rallies. We have used the legal tools available (Public Order Management Act) to ensure this balance is achieved. One setback that we have experienced is the ruling by the Court of Appeal in March 2020 that nullified Section 8 of the Public Order Management Act which granted the IGP or his delegate powers to stop or prevent the holding of a public meeting. We have been advised that the Attorney General is appealing this decision.

11.The COVID-19 pandemic also raised some new challenges that necessitated the enforcement of measures designed to keep the public safe from a highly infectious disease. This has coincided with the general elections, which has made the enforcement of measures to keep people socially distant all the more difficult to enforce. Some of the individuals that have been identified as ring leaders have been arrested and charged with doing unlawful and negligent acts that are likely to spread disease. These include politicians, pastors and entertainers.

Cooperation with the civilian authority and other security organs established under the Constitution

12.There are established mechanisms of cooperation such as the National Security Council Subcommittee, the Joint Operations Command and the Joint Intelligence Committee. The cooperation has been excellent during my tenure of office. The synergy brought by the different authorities and organs in the provision of security is fundamental in ensuring national security.

Other achievements

13.A number of construction projects have been completed in the last Financial Year alone:

(a) ICT and Innovation centre (100%).

(b) Garage and Warehouse for Spare Parts at Namanve.

(c) Six Police stations (Luuka, Namutumba, Sironko, Kyenjojo, Paidha and Lyantonde), plus accommodation blocks at six stations (Sironko, Ngora, Budaka, Bulambuli, Kabalye, Kalangala.

(d) A number of other projects are ongoing:

(i) Renovation of CID HQ at Kibuli (75%) and establishment of CID training school (complete and functional).

(ii) Construction of a centralized Armoury (70%).

(iii) Construction of an Aviation Maintenance Centre (55%).

(iv) Construction of Serere, Omoro and Bududa Police stations and Naguru/Ntinda apartment blocks (60%).

14. Human Resource

(a) Police was able to recruit and train 5,000 police constables and Learner AIPS. The institution had not recruited for two years (since 2016) by the time we assumed office. We are already recruiting another batch of 5,000 to close the manpower gaps that had affected service delivery. The process is on-going. In this lot, we were also able to cater for specialties that will go a long way in effective management of the anti-crime infrastructure we have put in place.

(b) A number of courses have been conducted in the aforementioned period: Career development courses-631 officers, specialized courses-2,166, Advanced Specialized courses- 750 officers; Refresher Courses- 6,664 officers, Initial Courses- 15,201 officers and sponsorships 316 officers.

(c) Re-organisation of the Police structure to include the office of the Chief of Joint Staff to improve planning, supervision and coordination and introduction of committees to improve team work and transparency.

(d) To improve human resource management, we have embarked on the phased implementation of the Integrated Human Resource Management System to improve manpower accountability and transparency. We have so far rolled it out in 15 police regions. 13 regions are yet to be covered.

(e) Promotions. This is work in progress. We found a ban on promotions of personnel by the office of the IGG. The exercise has been embarked on and we are in the final stages.

15. Other operations. In 2018 alone, 279 people were rescued by the Uganda Police Marines in different parts of the country, and 603 victims of trafficking in persons were rescued and settled with their families. Figures of 2019 and 2020 are on record on the Police website.

16. Contribution to the National Treasury: In 2018, a total of 199,785 tickets under the Express Penalty scheme were issued to traffic offenders amounting to Uganda shillings eighteen billion, eleven million, two hundred and sixty thousand (18,011,260,000/-). Another fifteen billion, six hundred and fifty-five million, ninety thousand shillings (15,655,090,000) was paid as fines by traffic offenders. Other details for 2019 and 2020 can be found on the Police website.

17.Contribution to International Peace and Security. Under our tenure, UPF deployed a total of 220 police officers per annum (for three years) under the following categories:

(a) Police Formed Unit to AMISOM of 160 personnel and their equipment per annum. Therefore, two FPUs have already rotated out.

(b) UPF deploys 21 officers for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and 39 individual officers to AMISOM.

18. Tackling trafficking in narcotic drugs. Uganda is a route and destination of narcotic drugs. UPF has been able to seize and destroy narcotic drugs. A total of 370.362 Kgs  worth 9,250,000,000 and 132 Kgs (destroyed 105 kgs) worth 5,505,954,200 Uganda shillings in 2019. In 2020 (69.07kgs of assortment of drugs- cocaine, heroin, etc.)  have been seized and are due for destruction.

19.Elections:

  • (a) UPF has successfully policed a number of elections, in joint coordination with the UPDF and other security agencies. In 2018, we successfully conducted by-elections in the constituencies of Pallisa, Rukungiri, Butebo, Jinja East, etc. and elections in the newly created five municipalities.
  • (b) The activities of the 2020/2021 general elections started way back in 2019, where a number of activities have taken place: party primaries, nominations of candidates, for presidential, parliamentary and other levels.  
  • (c) Necessary preparations of personnel and procurements to support the elections have been made as I briefed you in a separate brief, including recruitment and training of the 10,000 PPCs and Learner AIPS and 50,000 Special Police Constables.
  • Priorities
  • 20. Our priorities have been lined up in the five-year strategic plan for the financial years 2020/2021-2024/2025. Some of these include:
  • (a)Strengthening CID by:
  • (i) Dealing with slow rates of investigation by increasing the numbers and training detectives.
  • (ii) Increasing the number of experts such as handwriting experts.
  • (iii) Improving the case bring up system by implementing the CRMS and interfacing with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
  • (iv) Improving exhibit stores.
  •             (b) Strengthening Human and Technical Intelligence means.
  •             (c) Extension of INTERPOL services i/24 to all our borders.
  •             (d) Expansion of canine services. Currently, we are covering 71 out of the 161 police districts.
  •             (e) Police Air Wing Maintenance Organization be put in place to cut on costs of aircraft maintenance.
  •             (f) Expansion of marine services to all the lakes.
  •             (g) Reorganization of Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) and training/equipping to deal with the re-emerging threats especially cattle rustling.
  •             (h) Discipline. To strengthen discipline, we plan to realign penalties to specific disciplinary offences and to review the court system.
  •             (j) Development of training schools especially for: CID, Crime Intelligence, Initial courses and other specialties of Policing nature and in line with emerging threats such as cyber.
  •             (k) Phased renovation and construction of barracks starting with the barracks in KMP.
  •             (l) Establishing schools for the children of Police personnel.
  •             (m) Construction of the Police Hospital. A committee was formed by PAC chaired by the DIGP to follow up this important welfare project.
  •             (n) Completion of the CI HQs.
  •             (o) Fighting corruption in the Police Force. CI (Counterintelligence and Professional Standards Unit (PSU) are the lead in this effort).
  •             (p) Construction of the Regional Forensic Referral Centre.
  •             (q) Strengthening Exodus SACCO.

Challenges

21.Some challenges that affect our work still exist, but they are surmountable. These include, inadequate manpower and budgetary constraints. The latter affects welfare aspects such as accommodation and utilities (power and water for the officers and their families). Another constraint is that our work is linked to the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS). Some districts do not have Magistrates and Resident State Attorneys (RSAs). There are however continuous discussions with our JLOS partners on the best way forward.

Conclusion

22. We have been able to consistently and effectively reduce the volume of crime by 5.2% in 2018 and by 9.8% in 2019. 2020 crime report is yet to be out but preliminary data shows further projected decline by about 5.4%. The Uganda Police continues to execute its mandate very well to ensure peace, security and in effect creating a conducive environment for national development.

23. I thank HE the President and Commander-in-Chief for this opportunity to serve in the Uganda Police Force, a force that is at the vanguard of national security.

24. Thanks also go to the Hon Minister of Internal affairs, Hon Gen Jeje Odong and the Hon Minister of State for internal Affairs, Hon Obiga Kania for their invaluable guidance during this tour of duty. Appreciation also goes to the Police Authority and the Committee of Parliament on Defence and Internal affairs.

25. I also wish to thank the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Defence Forces for their unreserved support as we performed national security duties.

26. Appreciation goes to the JLOS Secretariat, the JLOS institutions especially the ODPP, Judiciary, UPS and other sister security agencies.

27. The Directors of the UPF, all officers of the force, I say, it has been a great time to work with you. Thank you for the warm welcome and your undiminished morale.  Aluta Continua!

28.Let me take this opportunity to welcome the incoming Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Lokech. A person I have known for long, a patriot and committed servant of this Country. Karibu saana, as we Protect and Serve!!!

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