By Fred Kiva
The Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi has rolled out a revised security plan to defeat criminal gangs as ordered by President Yoweri Museveni two days ago.
The Deputy IGP’s revised security plan announced before the media on Friday focuses on five major areas among them; increased security visibility, profiling and pursuit of known repeat offenders, linkage and effective communication with the public as well as creating awareness, quick and effective response to criminal incidents among others.
“The above measures mainly address the security of residences. However, we realize that violent crime also manifests in non-residential locations affecting especially vulnerable pedestrians or motorists,” the Deputy IGP said.
“In this regard, security will ensure more visibility, accompanied by camera surveillance (where available) to respond to incidents,” he added.
Maj Gen Sabiiti revealed that the recently recruited Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel are also being teamed up with the police to further enhance security.
In a statement on Tuesday President Yoweri Museveni gave the Deputy IGP two days to come up with a detailed plan to rid the City of criminal gangs which attack, rob and kill people with machetes and iron bars.
“These are gangs we shall easily defeat. That is what we did with the Kiddawalime gang in Masaka, the gang of Bukomero, the gang of Entebbe etc. I have given two days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you,” the President said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is easy to defeat these gangs. Their crimes will only add to the credit of the NRM because we are going to defeat them. Yet, the People have already seen the bankruptcy and the criminality of these groups and those who back them,” the President added.
Meanwhile, Gen Sabiiti did not duel so much on who these criminal gangs are and the people backing them. He only maintained; “We have enough intelligence, we shall be updating you after the action.”
The Deputy IGP however, appeared to fault courts for the lack of effectiveness in policing, saying although criminals are arrested and prosecuted, the sentences given are not stringent enough to deter them from committing the crime again.
“From 2017, 79 profiled criminals have been arrested, properly investigated and taken to court but they are now back in the community. That’s an area we need to seriously discuss in our JLOS engagements,” he noted.
Meanwhile, in other measures the KMP area is going to be divided into policing zones for each station or post, with attendant published call lines, reaction forces and linkage to all stations and posts as well as cameras, in case there is a distress call.
There will also be registration and marking of streets and residences to enhance quick response.
General Sabiiti’s press conference at Police headquarters Naguru was attended by high ranking army and police officers including the UPDF Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu.
Gen Elwelu praised the recently recruited Local Defence Unit personnel for what he said is improved security through nabbing of criminals.
“More than 2000 criminals have been arrested ever since the deployment of LDUs,” he said noting that courts should do more in dealing with the suspects.
The UPDF recently recruited 13,000 Local Defence Unit personnel from the various parts of the country. The army said the LDU recruitment intended to enhance the existing foundation security arrangement in the country to ensure that the people and their property are secured at grass root levels.
Gen Sabiiti's full statement
Regards from the Uganda Police and the entire Security fraternity. As earlier communicated by His Excellency the President and Commander in chief, I take this opportunity to relay our reviewed security plan to tackle the current wave of violent crime, especially in the KMP policing area- that is- Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Entebbe as well as other areas where it manifests. The detailed plan shall be given to the implementers i.e. the Joint security apparatus. What we shall share with the public is the following:
This reviewed plan sits within the 12 wider measures announced last year by the President. I want to report that a lot of strides have been made in this regard, including the aspects of installation of cameras, finger printing of fire arms, improving the police Forensics capacity,
as well as improving the Crime Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Directorates, all of which are ongoing.
This notwithstanding, the KMP area has encountered a new wave of violent crime, which compelled us to review our plan in order to enhance better effect in decisively handling this prevalent crime. The revised approach is premised on five measures:
(1) Linkage with and effective communication with the public,as well as public awareness. Each family in a zoned area of responsibility, shall be given a telephone line of the nearest station or post.
The public is encouraged to share all relevant information on all matters of security including distress calls. We shall put suggestion boxes at the stations and LC offices. Messages will only be accessed by a select team and all the messages will be treated with confidentiality. The public can also deliver text messages or whatsapp messages on 0707114114
We also appeal and encourage the public to have community based security approaches such as employment of village scouts, vetting and registration of those that work at homes- plumbers, casual labourers, house helps, etc.; installation of cameras in their premises and vehicles (taxis, public and private transport), to boost our surveillance and investigation capacities. Public vigilance and cooperation is very crucial in the effort to eliminate crime.
(2) Quick and effective response. In this regard, the KMP area is going to be divided into policing zones or security constituencies for each station or post, with attendant published call lines, reaction forces and linkage to all stations and posts as well as cameras, when there is a distress call. Other enablers include:
Registration and marking of streets and residences to enhance quick response Lighting of streets and or individual premises or residences where affordable.
(3) Effective investigations and prosecution of culprits. To this end, we require a more robust and dedicated prosecution and judicial set up to handle this violent variant of crime. Government will discuss modalities with the Judiciary and the DPP.
(4) Profiling and pursuit of known repeat offenders. This is already an ongoing process and the hunt is on.
(5) The above mentioned measures mainly address the security of residences. However, we realize that violent crime also manifests in non-residential locations affecting especially vulnerable pedestrians or motorists. In this regard, security will ensure more visibility,
accompanied by camera surveillance (where available) to respond to
• However, the public can also play a critical role here. We therefore mobilise the public to be extremely vigilant and security conscious. Avoid moving with lots of money without the requisite security precautions. If you have to move late, make the necessary security contingencies, including not moving alone and update those concerned in case of need of
help. Do not expose those that are most vulnerable to unnecessary risk especially young children and ladies, moving alone late in the night.
If we step up individual and group/communal vigilance and consciousness, the risk to individuals can also be largely mitigated. We shall keep updating you as we proceed with implementation of
these added measures.
Thank you very much.
For God and my country
Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi psc, ndc
FOR: Inspector General of Police