Police has embarked on a nationwide drive to sensitize the local council leadership on mechanisms to curb the increasing incidence of crime.
This was revealed Thursday by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Community Policing, ACP Anatoli Muleterwa while launching the campaign at Rwizi Police regional offices in Mbarara district.
“This is a national program of ensuring that we mobilize and sensitize the LC leadership on their major roles in as far as security is concerned,” Muleterwa said.
The Deputy commissioner reported that Mbarara district registered high cases in 2018 when local leaders failed to execute the security roles.
“The 2018 national crime report ranked Mbarara as the second district in the entire country in the level of the committed crime and partly because LCs were not playing their role because they had not been inducted,” said Muleterwa.
Some of the reported cases in the district include; defilement, cattle wrestling, domestic violence, and land grabbing.
ACP Muleterwa says it is the community policing which will reduce case backlog at police.
“We shall increase police manpower in this coming training but there is no magic answer to reduce crime than mobilization. Even if we plant more Police stations, we shall not put a police officer on every door of a Ugandan. But if you develop the heart of being cautious and vigilant, we shall fight criminality in our areas”.
Local leaders headed by Abbas Kazibwe LC III chairperson Kakoba division, Mbarara asked the police to conduct more sensitization public community dialogues.
Kazibwe also complained about the district lacking a remand home for juveniles who commit crimes in the area.
On his part, the district Chairperson Rtd Capt JB Bamuturaki complaint about less police manpower in the district.
“We lack manpower. Mbarara is no longer a district. It has become a city with several constituencies and as we develop, the criminality rate also keeps growing. Our humble request is that you reinforce us with manpower”.
He said that in some outposts are manned by only one policeman.
“Also, when you hit criminals from Kampala they all run this side. For example those ones who were stealing number plates, they were a menace here, cattle theft, stealing of cars I remember there is a time when every week we would lose 2-3 cars,” Bamuturaki explained.
On the issue of rampant murders in the region, the district chairman said authorities will crack down on the criminal elements in the area.
“With my experience in security, you cannot kill a human being and you survive arrest. Even these crimes that happened in Mwizi, we shall arrest the culprits. Do it knowing that we will get you. If you have issues with a person, go to court but killing a human being is not a solution.” Bamuturaki said.
He also revealed that the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is soon constructing a juvenile detention facility in the district.
He said that currently, juvenile offenders are taken to Fort portal or Kabale for detention.
The Rwizi regional police commander, SSP Akoth Catherine thanked the Commissioner and promised to take the sensitization program up to the village level mostly targeting the trading centers.
The meeting was attended by elected LCV chairpersons, LC V councilors, LC III Chairpersons, LC IIs, LC Is, and the business community around Mbarara.