As we start this Easter Festive holiday, I would wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the Uganda Police to caution fellow Ugandans to remain vigilant and extra alert as periods of festivities make you most vulnerable.
It is encouraging that crime in Uganda has continued to register a downward trend, although certain crimes such as homicides, and defilement, domestic violence remain a challenge. Even then, in areas where community policing, i.e. strong partnership between the police and the community, is working such as in areas of Katwe, Kajjansi crime including violent crimes have showed a marked decline.
Therefore, the answer to fighting crime effectively is community policing: the combination of vigilance of the population and Police technical services such as patrols, etc. Even to secure the Easter holiday, the answer is community policing. Community policing begins with individual security and consciousness (you are the first line of your own and the country’s security). So be vigilant about your surroundings and your movements. When you are suspicious about anything or anybody in your vicinity, immediately alert the Police or any other security officer or LC official. Those with children must ensure they are within sight at all times including monitoring them while swimming.
Secondly, Neighborhood Watch, i.e. vigilance in each and every neighbourhood. Remember that the security of your home/work place is tied to the security of your neighbourhood. On our part, we are closely coordinated with LCs and other local authorities as well as crime preventers to intensify patrols and, therefore, police visibility.
Thirdly, Premise security: By observing basic home security measures like asking your trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property; not advertising your movements, and or of expensive property; locking your windows and doors when you enter/leave your premises, etc. In particular, Church goers, you should be conscious of those next to you because not all those that go to church are genuine worshippers.
Cooperate with the Police at checkpoints in accessing the church premises. To reduce the number of vehicles parked around worship centers to enable police surveillance. No abandoned vehicles should be parked within or close to places of worship and residential areas.
All vehicles parked overnight in those premises MUST be identified and cleared. It is advisable that all operators of motor parks, shopping malls, and recreational centers work very closely with the police and other security agencies as they strive to strengthen the general security in their respective facilities. Drivers on long journeys should ensure that they have enough rest, and be mindful of road works in progress. They are also cautioned against drink drive and loading excess passengers or luggage. In addition, drivers and passengers should remember to use seat belts at all times when travelling.
I wish all Ugandans a very peaceful and happy Easter celebration and in working together we shall win.
GENERAL KALE KAYIHURA
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
19 APRIL 2014