Police has called for public calm in the wake of the recent spate of violent robberies and murders across the country.
By Charles Etukuri
KAMPALA - Police has called for calm among the public in the wake of the recent spate of violent robberies and murders across the country.
The security force also admitted that some of the guns being used in the crimes are both legal and illegal guns, but that a process of marking guns had started.
Addressing the media at the Police headquarters on Friday, the Inspector General of Police Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, while delivering an Easter message of reassurance, maintained that police was on top of the matter.
“There is understandable anxiety in the public about the recent spate of murders and other violent crimes in the city and other parts of the country,” he acknowledged.
“However I take this opportunity to reassure the country that the Uganda Police, supported by the other security agencies as well as the vigilant members of the public, is exerting all efforts to decisively reverse this trend and ensure your security especially during this festive season,” said the police boss.
He was flanked by the Kampala Extra Regional Police Commander Felix Kaweesi.
According to crime statistics for the same period last year, there were 61 murders by shooting. The statistic has dropped to 34 this year – a fact Kayihura attributed to increased vigilance by the police and others security agencies.
He however said that the incident of violent crimes since the beginning of 2013 remains unacceptable and must be reversed.
“We cannot be proud of these statistics, as indeed even a single preventable life is one too many as the statistics can never be a consolation to those who lost their loved ones.”
The police chief attributed the recent crimes to repeat offenders who have either served their sentence or have been released on bail.
Their motives range from property, land, domestic wrangles and robberies by organized criminal gangs, especially in the city and its suburbs.
“In most of the cases, the perpetrators and their collaborators have been apprehended,” Kayihura confirmed.
He called for the fast-tracking of the community policing system which he said was the real answer to the spectrum of crime and security threats ranging from fighting crime, riots, and violent crimes to simple crimes.
The IGP called for individual security consciousness, neighborhood watch based on the Local Council and crime preventers.
“If each and every one of us, individually, collectively, institutionally do what is expected of us in keeping security and safety, the few thugs who are unfortunately a part of the body fabric of the Ugandan society like any other society in the world, will find they have no room to maneuver – that they are now the hunted and not the hunter,” he said.
Police calls for calm amid violent crime increase