By Chris Kiwawulo
Police have intensified snap checks and patrols along highways to curb speeding and reckless driving that result into accidents, and check armed robberies as the festive season draws nearer.
The Integrated Highway Police Command (IHPC) chief, Cohen Arinaitwe, said emphasis will be put on dark spots that are prone to violent crime and road accidents especially along Kampala-Masaka and Kampala-Mityana highways.
Flanked by IHPC senior staff ASP Andrew Tumusiime, Arinaitwe said all regional police commanders, traffic chiefs and sector commanders are on alert to ensure security and safety along highways.
“We have embarked on intensive integrated highway policing by enhancing motorized patrols especially along dark spots,” Arinaitwe said, adding that they have given out new patrol cars to Kamengo and Rubaare police stations.
Kamengo is along the Kampala-Masaka highway while Rubaare is in the Itojo-Rwahi sector.
Arinaitwe said they have started occupying most of the dark spots located in valleys along highways where armed robbers waylay unsuspecting passengers and rob them.
“We are working with members of the public who give us information because they know the spots,” he stated.
To protect passengers from robbers, especially those using buses, Arinaitwe said they would provide visible and undercover security agents to escort the vehicles.
He said they would also work with sister agencies like the Internal Security Organisation and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence for proper intelligence coordination to avert crime.
There have been several cases where thugs rob passengers by commandeering buses along highways.
Arinaitwe, who took over the command of the IHPC in April this year, said his major goal is to ensure that they eliminate violent crime, traffic accidents, terrorism, public disorders, fires and disasters through ensuring 24-hour surveillance of all highways countrywide.
“We have mobile police posts that are overseeing all these spots and our goal is to dominate all of them and ensure security and safety. These police cars comprise of officers from; the field force unit, community liaison office, traffic and Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (CIID),” Arinaitwe revealed.
He said the most common dark spots were along Masaka and Mityana roads as well as the Itojo-Rwahi sector.
Along the Kampala-Masaka road, Arinaitwe cited Kibukutu swamp, Nakilebe, Katende hill, Nkooba, Lungala, Mpambire, Bubule, Kampiringisa forest, Wamatovu mosque, Kabira mosque, Nabusanke near River Katonga, Nabyewanga near Kibibi and Kyabadaza as the dark spots.
On the Kampala-Mityana-Mubende highway, he cited Mpamujugo swamp between Mityana and Mubende, Kasanda towards Myanzi, Kabalanga about 12km towards Mubende town, Kalembe, Mayinja-Abiri and Kiyuni along the Mubende-Kakumiro road.
In the Itojo-Rwahi sector, Arinaitwe said Nyamukana, Kyamugashe, Owomugyenyi, Rubaare, Omukanyanya and Rwali. Arinaitwe said they would also intensify surveillance along the Northern Bypass where violent crime and accident cases were occuring.