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The Police are fast in responding to problems

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th November 2009 03:00 AM

IN the local press recently, Desmond Kenyi blamed the Police for the increase in mob justice. “The Police slow response is to blame for rising cases of mob justice,”he said. He alleged that crime is on the increase causing a lot of fear and anxiety am

IN the local press recently, Desmond Kenyi blamed the Police for the increase in mob justice. “The Police slow response is to blame for rising cases of mob justice,”he said. He alleged that crime is on the increase causing a lot of fear and anxiety am

By Emilian Kayima

IN the local press recently, Desmond Kenyi blamed the Police for the increase in mob justice. “The Police slow response is to blame for rising cases of mob justice,”he said. He alleged that crime is on the increase causing a lot of fear and anxiety among members of the public.

He laments the Police’s slow response in the September Buganda riots. Unless something is done to change the force’s attitude and address the issue of their mobility, cases of mob justice will continue to abound, he concluded.

To begin with, where is the statistical data to prove the allegations that crime is on the increase? Not even the allegation that the public is anxious and living in fear is true.

Has Kenyi forgotten that Kampala was recently filled with criminal gangs hitting people with katayimbwa? We have greatly contained ritual-related murders. The Police also destroyed hundreds of tonnes of marijuana in the recent past. The marijuana culprits were apprehended and we have also intensified our community mobilisation strategies.

All these Police activities are carried out to alleviate crime and to empower communities play positive roles in bringing the suspects to book, never to take the law in their hands. Crimes like armed robberies are reduced and yet people like Kenyi cannot acknowledge these obvious facts. The Police cannot be everywhere. But even if we were, we would still need the cooperation from the public. Our Emergency Response Unit, formerly 999, is very efficient in handling incidents once they are informed.

For purposes of making this service more accessible, the unit was decentralised. In addition, we popularised the telephone contacts of unit commanders so that they are informed in case of a potential or actual danger.

Those in Kampala can contact the commander of the Emergency Response Unit on 071667770. The Police as an institution have taken great strides forward and our operations have improved a great deal. The affluent members of society, where Kenyi falls, should take the lead in engaging in constructive criticism of the Police, not a mere hate campaign against the institution.

If there is anyone who thinks that the Police delayed to deploy and handle the September riots in Buganda, I dare them to challenge me on good authority.

As a team mandated to protect Ugandans, we did a commendable job. The Police saved the situation in time, had minimal casualities registered, in view of what was bound to happen. There were also no operational mistakes registered, and we prevented more crime from escalating. As a nation we need to know that mob justice is criminal.

A colleague once described a mob as a group of heads with no brains and I find this very appropriate. The Police has built a solid team of officers, ready to serve this country with dignity. Where individuals go wrong, there are mechanisms of correcting that.

The Professional Standards Unit checks the professional ethics of officers, whereas political commissars are a strong link between the commander and the subordinate, their welfare and morale.

In addition, community policing links us to the public we are mandated to serve. The bottom line is the Police are there to serve the public in an efficient and timely manner.
The writer is the political commissar for Kampala Metropolitan Police

The Police are fast in responding to problems

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