By Steven Candia
The police leadership has mooted a proposal and is in talks with the public service to turn the intelligence arm of the institution into a fully-fledged directorate in a bid to reinvigorate its crime detection capabilities.
The intelligence arm is presently under the criminal investigations and intelligence directorate (CIID).
Police boss, Gen. Kale Kayihura, said the idea is borne out of the realization of the declining performance of the unit.
Speaking at the police training school, Kabalye Masindi district during an interview at the inauguration of a one week training course for 400 crime preventers (students) drawn from various universities, Kayihura conceded that the unit was not up to task and thus the need to infuse new energy into it by turning it into a fully-fledged directorate, headed by a director.
The Uganda police presently has about 19 directorates.
“We are negotiating with public service on whether we can make it a directorate of its own. Building the capacity of the intelligence arm of the police is still an issue,” Kayihura said on Tuesday.
“We concede that we have to build this technical capability but it requires time and resources but we are working on it,” he said.
The constitution provides that one of the duties of the police is to detect and prevent crime, a thing Kayihura said has been lacking, turning the police into a more reactive rather than preventive force.
The police in August 2007 disbanded the Special Branch (SB), the internal intelligence arm of the force and came up with another but under CIID.
The 400 students drawn from Makerere University and Makerere University Business School (MUBS) are to be joined by several others from the Gulu, Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono, Nkumba and Kyambogo Universities, the deputy commandant of the school, Gray Ambayo said and later addressed the students.
The move to train the students in community policing through equipping them with self defence skills in martial arts and weaponry, he said, is part of deliberate efforts to improve intelligence gathering within the force.
Police is launching an ambitious community policing campaign as part of its centenary celebrations to last six months.
During the training the students who are to be taken through lecture on the political economy demonstrated their newly acquired skills in martial arts and firearm stripping.
Kayihura said there is need for police to invest and embrace technology if they are to meet that task of detecting and preventing crime.
He defended the disbanding of SB which he said though an arm of the police, was reporting directly to the internal affairs minister and not the police.
“Even at the district level the district SB officer would be in the office of the Resident District Commissioner and so the decision to disband it was in line with the requirements of the International Police (Interpol),” he said.