By James Bariyo
MBARARA. The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has started regional police tours where he is inspecting and interacting with police officers at their various stations.
Ochola says the regional police tour which is the first since he assumed the IGP’s office is meant to boost the joint police operations as an institution improved coordination.
Mr. Okoth said this on Friday morning while visiting the Rwizi regional police offices in Mbarara.
On Thursday the IGP was in Bushenyi and from Mbarara he is proceeding to Masaka.
“I want to emphasize what these police officers should expect from this police leadership and what should this police leadership expect from them; there are several areas that I am going to discuss with them which are immature to disclose to you now,” the IGP says.
One of the messages the police chief is carrying is about effecting arrests, something he hinted on during a Wednesday press conference.
“First of all you must identify yourself, you must have a warrant card, you must tell the person from which unit you are from, you must tell the person the offence your arresting that person for, you tell that person the rights you have; that is different from coming and abducting someone,” says the police chief who replaced Gen Kale Kayihura about four months.
Ochola says the moment officers fail to identify themselves, “you are more of a kidnapper than a police officer.”
“That is what I said, I didn’t say go and stone and I want you to clarify it to the public,” said the IGP.
He added that police is on top of curbing down the vice of kidnaps in the country unlike those telling the society that police has failed.
“It is not that police is failing, actually, we are on top of the situation; the number of victims we have rescued are more than those who have been murdered and the number of suspects we have taken to court are very many but because the journalists don’t report that positive aspect of the police, the society is not informed,” said Ochola.
Don’t Negotiate with Kidnappers
The IGP also said that police has created an emergency unit to deal with cases of kidnaps, urging the public to use it instead of sending ransom to kidnappers.
“First of all, we have opened an emergency set of unit at police headquarters that is manned by composite security, we have issued out free toll lines and we request members of the public, whenever such an incident occurs, ring us as soon as possible don’t begin by negotiating with kidnappers,” he advised.