Kampala residents need to step up their efforts to reduce the incidence of crime before it becomes the leading social problem in the city. The vice seems to be biting hard, leading to loss of colossal amounts of money.
According to the mid-year (January to June) crime report for Kampala, released by the Regional Police Commander Benison Oyo Nyeko last week, sh11.5b was lost in the last six months in the city.
I suppose that money would turn around many peoplesâ€™ lives if it had either been left in the pockets of the rightful owners, or if it was collected and put to better use in the area of social services.
Crime is said to greatly affect economic development. When one loses a TV set or a vehicle to thugs twice, he or she may not buy a third one, or he may buy a lousy one that will not cause him/her much pain if stolen again.
I have seen this on people who have suffered constant loss of mobile phones to thieves.
All crimes have far-reaching negative effects on the victims.
Rape and defilement are other rampant crimes in Kampala.
Suppose the rapist/defiler left her pregnant, or infected with a sexually transmitted disease which may even be the deadly one?
Some victims of robberies and burglaries are left injured.
Others are not lucky enough to see another day.
According to the report, there was an overall increase in the number of crimes reported to the Police â€“â€“ from 8,471 last year to 12,917 reported in the same period (January to June).
Theft was the leading crime in the period reported, which stood at 3,904 cases, followed by defilement which recorded 682 cases. Simple robbery cases were 456 and those of burglary and theft stood at 346.
The least recorded crime was attempted murder by shooting, which stood at 11 cases reported.
Whose job then is it to fight these vices? It is true it is the major work of the police to keep peopleâ€™s lives and properties secure from crime and there is no doubt the police has done its best in this respect.
Kampala is said to be one of the safest cities in the region. But it is equally the duty of every citizen to fight crime.
Article 17 of the Constitution of Uganda spells out some of the duties of a citizen as to co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order, combating corruption and misuse of public property and respect for rights and freedoms of others.
The police, through its community policing and crime prevention programmes have encouraged people to take pre-emptive measures to prevent crimes in their localities, homes and on themselves.
Local authorities and communities are also encouraged to come up with programmes geared at preventing and fighting crimes. You can contact your local policeâ€™s community liaison officers for advice on how to go about this.
It is the responsibility of every one to work towards reducing crime in our society.
Defilement among top city crimes