The number of criminal cases reported to Police increased by 3.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year, 2016, according to the latest Annual Crime Report.
In the year 2017, Police in Uganda registered 252,065 cases of crime compared to 243,988 cases in 2016.
The report was released on Wednesday by the IGP, Martins Okoth Ochola, 4 years since the previous Annual Crime Report was issued.
The figures are a mixed bag, with some crimes reducing, for example sex related crimes, while in some other categories, the incidence went up.
AIGP Grace Akullo, the Director of Criminal Investigation and Crime Intelligence who presented the statistics to the press at the Naguru Police headquarters said that a total of 77,675 cases were charged in court in 2017 with 22,936 court convictions. This is in comparison with 75,234 court charges in 2016 and 23,334 convictions.
The highest crimes of those reported last year were Common Assaults (30,794 cases), followed by Domestic Violence (15,325), Defilement (14,985), Threatening Violence (13,474) and Child Neglect (10,021).
AIGP Akulo said that the districts of Lira, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Gulu, Mpigi, Arua and Mbale registered the highest number of criminal activity.
Focusing particularly on cases of homicide (the killing of one person by another), cases of deaths by shooting reduced by 2.3%, deaths by mob action increased by 3.8% while deaths by poisoning reduced by 33%.
Deaths by fire were 124 in 2017 from 67 in 2016, representing a 59.6% increase and deaths as a result of domestic violence fell from 401 to 361 (a 10% drop).
Sex related crimes reported to Police fell by 14.7% from 19,548 to 16,862 last year. Defilement reduced by 14.8% in 2017 while rape fell by 8.5%.
Other crimes whose incidence fell were economic crimes (by 7.1%), robbery (by 5.7%), assault (by 18.2%) and political/media crimes (by 13.8%).
The latest figures by Police indicate a reverse in the trend of crime which had been downward since the year 2014. The 3.2% increase in reported cases in 2017 is in sharp contrast with the 5.4% year-on-year drop between 2015 and 2016 and a 0.3% drop between 2014 and 2015.
On the side of traffic incidents, the number of people who died as a result of road accidents almost stagnated at 3500 compared to a 9% increase the previous year.
Commenting on the statistics, IGP Ochola said Police requires more funding to better investigate cases of crime.
“Investigating one murder case is a lot of money. So, we need more funding as much as people think we are funded very well. We need to acquire equipment, we need to support forensic investigations,” IGP Ochola said.
The Director of CID, AIGP Akullo also pointed to the understaffing of detectives that carry out investigations which she said has resulted into case backlog.