By Ronaldo Kalangi
The inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has warned senior police officers to desist from corrupt tendencies or else he will axe and prosecute them in the courts of law.
while speaking at directors and Regional Police Commanders’ (RPCs) retreat at Bwebajja Police senior course, IGP Ochola revealed that Police force has got a lot of achievements mixed with challenges like poor image and corruption which makes the institution look bad to the communities they are supposed to serve.
“The major focus of the above is to rebuild and Transform the Uganda Police Force into a modern, Professional, service oriented, pro-people and effective institution. The message presented herein is part of the information that I have conveyed to the officers in several Regional Policing areas I have visited since I assumed office. The message has been summarized and simplified with the aim of ensuring that it is read and understood by all police officers”, he said.
Ochola added that corruption practices of selling police services like Police bond, Police Forms, criminalization of civil matters, extortion on roads, Civil Disorders Command and Management should all be ironed out of police force.
He highlighted that ‘Violations of Human Rights, laxity in handling assignments, Capacity gaps in terms of professionalism in training, skills development, mind- set, attitudinal change, maintenance of the available equipment, use of robust scientific methods of intelligence gathering and crime investigation. Staff welfare (housing, remuneration, medical and other basic needs),In- Country and Trans- national Crimes such as Terrorism and Violent crimes, Cyber- crime, Trafficking drugs and persons, Human sacrifice, Trading in wild life and their products, Environmental related crimes, Proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Slow/poor response to emergencies or occurrences, lack of teamwork, financial constraints are still challenges which must be dealt in Uganda police with an iron hand.
Ochola vowed to focus on Protection of life and property, Enhance the capability of UPF emergency and rescue services, Strengthen traffic and road safety enforcement and education, Expansion of marine and air policing services, Strengthen the capability of UPF in counter terrorism and management of violent crimes, Enhance partnership with Private Security Organizations and ensuring that their personnel are well trained, certified, equipped and supervised so as to compliment the services ,Promotion of community policing to increase public awareness and participation in crime prevention, Clear and effective communication to the personnel, Preservation of law and order, Professionalism should be observed by all police personnel. All officers must apply the acquired skills, good judgment, and polite behaviors that are expected from a person who is well trained to carry out police work. You must apply constant efforts to achieve quality in the performance of Police activities to the total satisfaction of the population that we are mandated to serve. Eradication of violation of rights of suspects especially torture as an investigative technique, Police officers must act with self-control and tolerance treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. Do not under any circumstances inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of inhuman or degrading treatment (torture) to any person. You should only use force to the extent that is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances.
Observation of human Rights and public accountability by all officers. All police activities must be initiated, conducted, and reported in accordance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and should be conducted with due respect for the rights and privacy of those involved.
Promotion of customer care.
Most individuals who come into contact with the police, such as victims, witnesses or suspects, may be vulnerable and therefore may require additional support and assistance.
You should be able to identify the individual needs of such persons and as far as is practicable, offer support and assistance to meet those needs.