Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth Ochola has hailed the Uganda Police’s gains made so far, in the fight against crime, despite increased stakes in the year 2019.
Ochola in his end of year statement, described the ending year as one “full of challenges and computing demands on crime and safety.”
“We registered selected incidents of violent crimes, which had created fear in the public but we worked tirelessly throughout the year, after adopting several strategies and initiatives that helped crack down on the violent crimes of murder by shooting, aggravated robberies and kidnappings to mention a few.”
While 2019 did not register cases of high profile murders compared to the previous years of 2017 and 2018, it was characterized by a spike in cases of kidnap.
Some of the crime highlights of the year include the kidnap of an American tourist Ms Kimberly Sue Endicott, who was grabbed on gun point together with his tour guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park, back in April.
She was thankfully freed by her captors after payment of a small fraction of the ransom they had initially demanded.
Later on in August, the country was plunged in shock after assailants kidnapped Mrs Maria Nagirinya, a social worker, and murdered her in cold blood before dumping her body in Mukono district.
IGP Ochola says amid these incidents, the police started implementing a number of strategies, that not only helped in the capture of the suspects in the crimes but also prevented numerous other crimes.
“Some of these strategies included; an expansive crime prevention initiative, crime mapping and data collection, efficient resource allocation, hotspot policing where violent crime is concentrated, problem oriented policing, use of new technologies like CCTV surveillance, DNA fingerprinting of guns, and automated fingerprint analysis,” he said.
“We also made improvements on how we conducted intelligence and investigations, recruited more police officers to enhance our manpower intensive practices like patrols and visibility; and also profiling and pursuing known repeat criminals.”
Going forward, the IGP says Police will continue with its operational activities in the New-year, “with a focus on serious and dangerous criminals, who undermine the safety of Ugandans and visitors to our country.”
So far, Ochola says the festive month of December, 2019, has been generally peaceful, mostly because the police “countered and disrupted the advance preparations of criminals, early enough.”
“These and many positive results were entirely due to the collaborative and strategic alliances we made with our sister security agencies like the UPDF, CMI, ISO, ESO and other partners under the criminal justice system.”