Opinion
Leaders should drive community policing
Publish Date: Aug 06, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Patrick Nakabale

The Uganda Police Force (UPF) is celebrating 100 years of dedicated service to the nation. In view of the Centennial celebrations, we should focus on the role of the masses in enhancing Police’s capacity to carry out its duties of protecting life and property, safe guarding law and order and prevention and detection of crime.


The Police Force has flagged off a massive campaign of Community Policing as a key hallmark in the Centennial celebrations.

Community Policing is essential in bolsteringthe capacity of the Force to effectively carryout its mandate. Currently, the Police Force has got no more than 40,000 Police officers and men to police a total population of 37 million people.

Early this year, the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, released the 2013 Police report which notes that the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) has registered an increase in police presence to every sub county with a police population ratio of 1:705 compared to 1:1750 in 2007. However, this is far below the United Nations recommendation of minimum police strength of 222 per 100,000 people.

The same report notes a reduction in crime, but an increase in murder cases, which isn’t good news for a country which has positioned itself as a global tourist destination and regional investment hub.

Nonetheless, to its credit, the Uganda Police Force, in collaboration with other security agencies, has effectively combated and managed acts of lawlessness and general anarchy, which were more pronounced in the late 80s and early-mid 90s such as the sporadic city bombings by elements linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.

Right now, the Force has enhanced its capabilitiesthrough acquisition of sophisticated equipment and professional trained personnelto combat modern terrorism.

However, the Police Force can’t effectively carryout its mandate without the active support of the masses being mobilised by the leaders for community policing. It is the masses, who are meant to do much of the policing work by being alert and vigilant andproviding the police with information about criminal activities and suspicious elements in communities.

The leadership institutions- political leaders, cultural leaders, religious leaders- are obliged to support the Police by mobilising masses in community policing. It is the leaders who could best sensitise the people on the essence of community policing including the shared benefits of concerted efforts and support for community policing.

To effectively achieve the above goal, the leaders, especially the political leaders from the various political persuasions, must castpartisan andsectarian interests apart and mobilise the masses for the good of the nation. We have heard it said by some leaders from the Opposition that the Police Force, especially under Gen Kale Kayihurais, has become a personalised force designed to serve personal interests of the NRM government.

Of course, the Police is part of the institutions of government (State) under the arm of Executive and it is mandated by the Constitution to serve the Government; which government principally includes the citizens of the Republic. We the leaders should understand that other armed forces belong to the people and are duty-bound to serve the people’s interests irrespective of which government/regime is inpower.

The persistence and increase in crime such as murders, robberies, kidnaps, terrorism, etc, as reported by the various reports would painta picture ofweakening community policing mechanismswhich essentially places the wanachi at the centre of reporting and preventing crime.

With the active participation of the leaders to mobilise the masses in community policing, the country will enjoy a significant reduction in crime which, thanks to the efforts of the Police Force, is now at 305 for every 100,000 of the population compared to 544 for every 100,000 in 2003. We could reduce crime rates to manageable levels.

The citizens have got a patriotic duty of defending their country as well as working with the Government to enhance peace and security. In the recent past, we have seen caseswhere the masses, especially the youth, have engaged in Nasty Street battles with the Police, which more often than not, has left scores of them killed and injured.

Today’s youth are more vulnerable to crime given the increasing rate of unemployment, poverty and frustration. Community policing would help the youth to channel the negative energy into productive usage.

The writer is the Youth MP-Central/General Secretary NRM Parliamentary Caucus

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Makerere University students strike can be averted
On Monday, 20th October 2014, Makerere witnessed yet another student’s strike. It was even reported by some sections of the media that One student had been injured....
Is Uganda
Being in the 91.3 Capital FM studios on Saturday 18th October for the Capital Gang hosted by Mr. Oscar Semweya Musoke reminded me of the saying- a good anvil does not fear the hammer....
Why Vision 2040 is and will still be illusive
Most policies in Uganda are very clear on paper but very ineffectively implemented due to the process always followed while formulating them; a policy should be drafted after a research, needs assessment, or a problem that needs to be solved....
Municipal bonds good, but let
I recently read in one of Uganda’s dailies that the Kampala Capital City Authority (“KCCA”) seeks to issue municipal bonds to raise much needed revenues for development purposes....
Educate a girl and reduce poverty
Despite the enormous progress of Universal Primary Education which has raised primary school enrolment from 2.7 to over 8.2 million in recent years, girls continue to suffer exclusion in education systems....
Scientists should take advantage of the president’s love for science
On several occasions President Museveni has come out to express his love for science and science based initiatives especially in value additions and energy as engines to drive economic growth...
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter