National
Police needs 300 forensic experts
Publish Date: May 08, 2014
Police needs 300 forensic experts
Police human resource officer, Felix Ndyomugenyi
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newvision

By Simon Masaba

The Police lose over 90 percent of cases due to lack of specialised personnel to handle scenes of crime.

According to police, there are only 300 out 639 Scene of Crime officers (SOCOS), needed to gather evidence in each district.

The Police human resource officer, Felix Ndyomugenyi, said more SOCOS should be trained to enable good gathering and avoid tampering with evidence.

There are only two SOCOS deployed in each district out of the recommended five.

The director Interpol, Asan Kasingye, said Police officers rush to scenes of crime (SOCOS) but fail to assemble evidence to pin suspected criminals during prosecution.

He was opening a one week scene of crime photography course at police forensics laboratory at Naguru, Kampala.

The 2013, annual crime report indicated that the number of reports and complaints made to Police were 251,409 out of which 99,959 cases were criminal in nature compared to 100,465 criminal cases investigated in 2012 thereby reflecting a decrease in the volume of crime by 0.5%.

On average 8,330 crimes were reported and investigated per month in 2013, compared to 8,372 crimes in 2012, the police worry that suspects could walk scot free if evidence pinning them is not availed or was tempered with.

The course is attended by officers from Uganda and Rwanda, facilitated by the Germany Police force. 

"It is not good practise for a police officer to rush to a scene of crime without a camera while collecting evidence. A photograph speaks a thousand words and how it says depends on how you take it," Kasingye said. 

Kasingye faulted fellow officers for rushing to record statements from suspects without gathering evidence from scenes. 

Kasingye asked police to borrow a leaf from media houses who publish stories and attach them with pictures that tell a story.  He cited the local news bulleting of 'Agataliko Nfuufu' of Bukedde TV, a Vision Group television station which gives a story with compelling photographs and videos, wondering why police can’t do it.

A Germany Police Liaison officer, Diedrich Ebers said in some specific cases across the world cases can't be won in court without photographic evidence.

"Witnesses decide to withdraw statements, decline to show up in court but it is only a photograph and a video that can stand for you," Ebers said.

He said Germany police has worked with the Uganda police for the three and half years training SOCOS and over 300 passed out the police training school in Kabalye, Masindi district.

The officers (SOCOS) have been trained in various fields that include, crime scene and evidence photography, fingerprint development and recovery, footwear and tire track evidence, homicide and other death investigations.

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