Police has said it has gained potential in fighting violent crimes, especially those that involve shooting due to its new digital identification of fire arms.
From the exercise of electronic region of fire arms, Police said that it has been able to arrest at least 17 suspects linked to deadly armed robberies that shook the country recently.
This security development was revealed by Spokesperson Fred Enanga Enanga at Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala.
According to Enanga, the ongoing fingerprinting of guns has proven to be effective in reducing incidents involving shooting simply because the ballistic record in the database is easily traceable to an individual or group of individuals, unlike in the past where no ballistic records existed.
“The DNA fingerprinting has the potential to solve gun crimes and even prevent future crimes by getting the most violent and active criminals for the vast majority of shootings, off the streets,” he said.
Police reports since the exercise began indicate a total of 9 notorious suspects linked to 17 armed robberies within the districts of Ntungamo, Kiboga, Kyengera, Matugga, Bulenga, Wakaliga, Kasangati, Kibibi, Mbale, Kitemu and Lyantonde.
Four guns were recovered from the exercise.
Another gang was linked to 8 incidents, which include four cases of murder and aggravated robbery, three cases of aggravated robbery and one case of murder in the areas of Nateete, Katwe, Kanyanya, Nansana and Kajjansi
Mr Enanga also revealed that the task team carrying out the electronic registration of firearms has so far covered 24 regions and the KMP area, where they have test fired a total of 57,171 firearms that belong to the Police, Prisons, Private Security Organizations, Individual civilians and LDUs.
This phase of registration is expected to be concluded by end of January, 2020.
The regions covered include the KMP, Katonga, Greater Maska, Rwizi, Kigezi, Rwenzori East, Rwenzori West, Wamala, Savannah, Albertine, North Kyoga, Kidepo, Mt Moroto, Siipi, Elgon, North Bukedi, Bukedi Region, Kiira, Busoga North, Busoga East and Sezibwa.
In the exercise, each firearm tested leaves a unique marking on the shell casing, and no two firearms leave the same markings.
The casing is then entered into an acquisition station, where it acquires different images, like a firing pin impression, an ejector mark or a breech face mark.
Each of these marks or impressions are unique, much like the DNA for humans.
As images of shell casings are entered into the database, the system searches for matches of shell casings left behind at crime scene, allowing forensic ballistic experts to link them up to incidents.
The exercise is continuing within the KMP for selected PSO and civilians and will be concluded within the next two months. The task team will then embark on firearms under the military.