As we approach the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan on the 23.03.2023, the IGP on his own and on the behalf of the Police fraternity, has come out to wish all Muslims and well-wishers in Uganda and across the globe, a blessed and peaceful Holy Month of Ramadan. As always, the month of Ramadan is a very important period, where Muslims traditionally come together to fast, pray and honor the values at the heart of Islam, of peace, gratitude, generosity and compassion. It is also a period, where Muslims, give back to their communities through Zakat and volunteerism, Ramadan is also an opportunity to celebrate our Muslim communities, for the important contributions they make towards peace, safety and rule of law.
The IGP has also called upon all territorial commanders to dedicate at least one day and join the Muslim colleagues in participating in a day long fast, as part of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The aim is to enable officers experience a greater understanding and reflection on how important Ramadan is to our Muslim colleagues and communities.
Although these are no specific threats against citizens during this period, we do encourage the public and in particularly Muslims to take steps to enhance their safety and security. The following are some safety precautions that can help promote safety and security, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
1. All territorial commanders are encouraged to work with all Muslim leaders in their respective jurisdictions to address and respond to all concerns of crime and safety, threats and vulnerabilities against Muslims, including patrolling all mosques and worship areas during the Holy month of Ramadan.
2. We encourage all Muslim institutions like Mosques, Islamic centres and schools to form security committees, that will work with the police and sister security agencies in addressing all security concerns.
3. Stay informed. Monitor the media for the latest security updates.
4. Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious persons or objects to the nearest security. Take extra caution while going for early morning prayers and from late evening prayers.
5. For Juma prayers, all Mosques and Islamic centers, must have extra security ready at the doors, checking who is entering and going out.
6. Ensure the parking areas are closely guarded and watch out for any suspicious vehicles.
7. Avoid crowds. Large gatherings can quickly become dangerous.
8. Avoid travelling alone especially in isolated areas after dark. Tell a friend or neighbor when you are going and when you intend to return.
9. Travel in groups. Safety is in numbers.
10.Vary your routes and times of travel. Being less predictable makes your more difficult to target.
11.During your movements, find exits and have a plan to escape or safe havens along your route or trip e.g shops, restaurants, fuel stations and security stations.
12.Always carry a charged cell phone. Also ensure your emergency numbers and family contracts are programmed.
13.Turn off location services on your smart cell phone or other devices. Criminals can use those features to establish your location.
14. Do not advertise, post or broadcast the location where you are going. Only tell people after you have left that place.
15.Record all incidents of harassment, threatening phone calls or messages, and report to the police. Use your telephone’s trace features to try to get the telephone number of the caller.
To managers at places of work;
16.All employers are encouraged to support Muslim employees by wishing them a happy, blessed and successful Ramadan.
17.Learn more about Ramadan, and provide special consideration like time and space for them to break the fast and perform prayers.
18.They should know that the first few days of Ramadan can be difficult for Muslims. They need to help them adjust while allocating them tasks.
To all Muslim individuals/homes
19.Avoid lone movements very early for prayers and late evenings.
20.Make sure all doors, windows have secure locks in them. And keep doors locked at all times. If you have an alarm system double check to see if they are working properly.
21.Practice fire drills and safety precautions.
22.Keep watch over children and avoid sending them outside to play by themselves.
23.Maintain lone profiles. Remain calm and patient if verbally harassed, avoid provocative arguments and confrontation, by walking away.
24.During the weekend, remain extra careful and avoid persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Once again let us all welcome the holy month of Ramadan and translate the common values and principles of peace, love and compassion to each other.
Happy and Prosperous Holy Month of Ramadan.
SCP Enanga Fred
20th March 2023