The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi, has Friday announced new security measures aimed at addressing the current wave of violent crime in the Kampala Metropolitan area.
This follows President Yoweri Museveni’s directive on Tuesday October 15 to the the Deputy IGP, to devise a plan through which the Police intends to address the recent spike in incidents of murder and robbery.
The President in a Facebook post described as “pigs” criminals who attack people with pangas and steel bars as well as and robbing them.
He said: “I have given 2 days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you”.
It is reported that Museveni met with security chiefs from the Police and UPDF at his farm in Kisozi. During the meeting, Maj Gen Sabiiti presented the plan.
On Friday, Maj Gen Sabiiti, accompanied by a number of select Police Directors, senior Police and military officers including the UPDF Commander of Land Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, told reporters at the Police headquarters in Naguru, that the new plan is targeting districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono as well as other areas in the country where crime may manifest.
He said the reviewed plan sits within the 12 wider measures to combat crime announced by the President last year.
Sabiiti says since the President’s announcement, a number of achievements have been registered including installation of CCTV surveillance cameras in the Kampala Metropolitan area (KMP), fingerprinting of firearms and improving the forensic capacity and Criminal Investigations Directorate.
He however notes that the KMP area has in the recent past experienced a new wave of violent crime which compelled the authorities to review the plan to effectively handle it.
He explained that the details of the approach will be shared with the implementors who include the joint security apparatus.
According to Sabiiti, the revised approach is premised on five aspects which include linkage and effective communication with the public as well as public awareness.
“Each family in the zoned area of responsibility shall be given a telephone line of the nearest police station or post. The public is encouraged to share all relevant information on all matters of security. We shall put suggestion boxes at the stations and local council offices,” Maj Gen Sabiiti said.
He says the messages shared by the public with the police shall only be accessed by a selected team of team and will be treated with confidentiality.
He adds that: “The public can also deliver SMS or WhatsApp messages on 0707114114. This is in my office. We also appeal and encourage the public to have community based security approaches such as employing village scouts, vetting and registering of those that work at home like plumbers, casual labourers and installation of security cameras in their premises and vehicles taxis and other public means of transport to boast of surveillance and investigation capacity.”
The second aspect of the reviewed plan the quick and effective response where KPM area is going to be divided into policing zones or security constituencies for each police station or post with attendant call lines, reaction Forces and linkage to all stations and posts.
Streets and residences in the KMP area will in this plan be marked and registered to aid quick response as well as lighting streets and individual residences.
The approach also includes quick investigations and prosecution of culprits where the Deputy IGP said they require a more “robust and dedicated prosecution and judicial setup to handle this violent variant crime.”
“Government will discuss modalities with the judiciary and the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution),” Maj Gen Sabiiti said.
The fourth element of the plan is the profiling and pursuit of the known repeat offenders which the deputy police chief said is an ongoing process and that the hunt is on.
He however says that the above mentioned measures mainly address the security of evidences yet violent crime also manifests in non-residential locations affecting especially vulnerable pedestrians and motorists. As such, he said the security will ensure more visibility accompanied by the CCTV surveillance cameras in places to respond to incidents.
Sabiiti further appealed to the public to cooperate with the Police and as well be security cautious to eliminate crime.
“We therefore mobilise the public to be extremely vigilant and security cautious, to avoid moving with a lot of money and without the requisite security precautions,” he explained.