Inspector General of Police Okoth Martin Ochola has revealed that despite fighting and reducing crime by 5% in 2018, the law enforcement body still faces many constraints.
The police commander stated in the annual crime report released on Monday that in all his addresses throughout the year, he has been highlighting key challenges that the force is facing but little has been addressed.
Amongst the challenges, Mr Ochola cited limited manpower. Uganda police force has a population of only 44601. In addition he said that the force operates on insufficient budget which has affected most of its operations.
He also said that Police is overwhelmed with victims of crime reporting civil cases to the police adding that some victims can not afford to hire lawyers.
“Civil cases take long and victims of crime want to see action taken against the perpetrators and when they are referred to civil courts, they raise complaints against the police,” he added.
In crime investigations department, Mr Ochola revealed that the directorate is faced with a heavy work load due to limited personnel. The CID personnel stand at only 5292 instead of the approved 19,843 leading to work overload.
Statistics indicate that the workload of CID stands at 45 case files per detective contrary to the UN standard ratio of 1:12.
According to the report, the directorate of criminal investigations ranks the most affected department, yet it is the most important in every law enforcement body.
The report shows that CID lacks resources such as vehicles to carry out work at all levels and that sometimes the complainants/victims offer to fund their cases leading to lots of complaints against CID in particular and police in general.
Still on equipment, the IGP cried out for tools that facilitate investigations such as spy cameras, recorders, computers among others.
For the first time, Mr Ochola also revealed that the directorate and the police at large lack office space.
He said that in some stations detectives sit in shifts.
“Office space is required for confidentiality during interview and statement recording of suspects, victims and witnesses. We also don’t have interrogation rooms,” Mr Ochola said.
Externally, the law enforcement body said that they still face challenges from the courts of law.
He noted that some districts have no magistrates and the judiciary plus other actors from justice law and order sectors have not moved at the same place of decentralization as police who are at sub county level.
“That kind state of affairs has led to suspects with sanctioned charges being released and creating a lot of complaint on police,” reads part of the report.