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Detectives flee offices over missing case files

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 15th January 2020 01:41 PM

KMP has the biggest population countrywide with over 1,000 cases reported at a single police station daily, a source revealed, citing Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, Katwe, and Old Kampala police stations.

Detectives flee offices over missing case files

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KMP has the biggest population countrywide with over 1,000 cases reported at a single police station daily, a source revealed, citing Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, Katwe, and Old Kampala police stations.

POLICE                        DETECTIVES                MISSING FILES

Several detectives working within Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) region have fled their duty stations after a team of senior police officers went to their offices to inspect their work.

This came after the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) leadership cracked a whip on detectives suspected to have dubiously lost sensitive case files, leading to the arrest of at least 40 investigators.

A senior detective, who is part of the inspection team, yesterday told New Vision that; "it is true several officers have run away from their offices after they learnt that we were going there, and they could not be traced. But we shall get them."

The officer said during the crackdown that is ongoing in KMP region, they found out that many case files had for a long time been reported to have gone missing without a trace.

"We arrested some of the detectives after we discovered that they were conniving with suspects to hide files and kill cases," he said.

KMP, which covers Kampala, Wakiso, and parts of Mukono, Mpigi and Kayunga, has over 18 police stations and 150 police posts.

KMP has the biggest population countrywide with over 1,000 cases reported at a single police station daily, a source revealed, citing Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, Katwe, and Old Kampala police stations.

This results in detectives handling more than the internationally recommended number of cases at a given time. According to UN standards, a detective is supposed to handle 12 cases a year. However, available data shows that a detective can handle over 50 cases a year.

Preliminary investigations show that files that disappear most involve mostly capital offences with cases like defilement, murder, kidnap, robbery, car thefts, land cases, rape and gold deals among others, where suspects allegedly pay dubious detectives for their freedom.

New Vision has learnt that the crackdown followed a directive from the CID chief, Grace Akullo.

The CID spokesperson, Charles Twine, confirmed the arrest of the detectives, saying the crackdown will later spread to other parts of the country. CID has over 4000 officers.

"Following a CID retreat at the headquarters in June last year, it was resolved that we must offer justice by providing quality and timely investigations. CID is a cutting edge of the Uganda Police Force. So, to ensure that we offer quality and timely investigations, we had to train existing staff and carry out a comprehensive evaluation of their work," Twine explained.

He said their boss (Akullo) set up inspection teams headed by senior officers, who have already started their work in KMP with emphasis on case file management, exhibit management, human rights issues and adherence to criminal investigations procedure.

The senior officers will also evaluate the skills of detectives in relation to contemporary crimes like robberies and kidnaps, which have of recent been common.

Preliminarily, Twine said, inspection teams have found that some areas within KMP required intervention because they found glaring mistakes committed by a cross-section of investigators and some of their supervisors. Some of the mistakes are suspected to be deliberate.

"We thought that some mistakes were done with impunity and have attracted actions which are disciplinary in nature and we are also contemplating taking action against the officers involved," Twine stated.

Without giving a specific number of those arrested, Twine confirmed that quite a good number of detectives was in detention over missing case files.

Defending the arrests, Twine said this is intended to promote effectiveness and efficiency in investigations, which is a strong pillar in delivering justice.

On a positive note, Twine said the inspectors have come across excellent performance in some areas despite the detectives having limited resources and logistics.

There have been a number of public outcries where members of the public have reported to police authorities, especially to police's Professional Standards Unit (PSU) over missing files, extortion among other cases.

President Yoweri Museveni has time and again condemned rogue elements within the police force and he asked the police administration to clean their house.

In 2017, PSU wrote to the Police's directorate of legal, recommending the sacking of at least 60 cops, who included CID officers. Around the same time, at least 80 Police officers were arrested for taking part in the crime.

They allegedly took part in extortion, robbery, concealing evidence and fraud. PSU received complaints ranging from case file management, extortion, response to incidents and irregular conduct in the areas of Kiboga, Nateete, Mityana and the Savana region, which comprises of Luwero, Nakasongola and Nakaseke districts.

PSU has always asked the public to report cops implicated in crime using toll-free numbers to include; 0800300119, 0800199199, 0757711031,0757711996,0757711887,0757711622, 0757711864 and 0757711183.        

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