Keynote Address By Inspector General Of Police On Strategic Direction Of Uganda Police Force To CID Officers At The Opening Of A Retreat Held In Kibuli Cid Training School FROM 1ST – 5TH JULY 2019.
The strategic direction of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) is derived from its Mission, Vision and guided by Articles 211 and 212 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ministerial Policy Statement, National Development Plan, The Police Act, The Police Standing Orders and Police Strategic Plan.
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.
- Professionalism should be observed by all personnel. All officers must apply the acquired skills, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is well trained to carry out police work. As for investigations, it requires a constant effort to achieve quality in the performance of investigative activities.
Standards of Professionalism in Investigations
- Thoroughness: Investigations must be conducted in a diligent and complete manner, and reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that pertinent issues are sufficiently resolved.
- b) Legal Requirement: Interviews, evidence collection, and other activities must be initiated, conducted, and reported in accordance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and should be conducted with due respect to the rights and privacy of those involved.
Additional considerations during an investigation may include:
- Obtaining, securing, and properly using information;
- Following guidelines from the supervisors and prosecutors
- Internal policies and procedures.
- Serving as liaison and interacting with prosecutors; and
- Storing and handling evidence.
- Acting 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 to any person.
- Honesty and Integrity: Investigators must be honest, act with integrity and not compromise or abuse their positions. They should be open and truthful in their dealings with the public and their colleagues, so that confidence in the police force is secured and maintained.
- They should not knowingly make any false, misleading or inaccurate statements or entries in any record or document kept or made in connection with any investigations.
- Never accept any gift or gratuity that compromises their impartiality.
- Never use their position to gain an unauthorized advantage (financial or otherwise) that could give rise to the impression that they are abusing their positions.
- Equality, fairness and impartiality: Investigators must carry out their duties with fairness and impartiality in accordance with equality legislation’s. They should not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly when exercising any of their duties, discretion or authority.
They need to retain the confidence of all communities and therefore, respect all individuals and their traditions, beliefs and lifestyles provided that such are compatible with the rule of law.
- Use of Force: Investigators should only use force to the extent that is necessary, proportionate and reasonable, in all the circumstances.
- Confidentiality: Investigators must treat information with respect and access or disclose it only in the proper course of police duties. They should not provide information to third parties who are not entitled to it.
- Appropriate Techniques: Specific methods and techniques used in the investigation should be appropriate for the circumstances and objectives.
- Perseverance: All investigations should be conducted in a fair and equitable manner, with the perseverance necessary to determine the facts.
- Objectivity: Evidence must be gathered and reported in an unbiased and independent manner in an effort to determine the validity of an allegation or to resolve an issue. This includes inculpatory and exculpatory information.
- Ethics: At all times, the actions of the investigators and the supervisors must conform to all applicable standards of ethical conduct.
- Timeliness: All investigations should be conducted and reported in a timely manner. This is especially critical given the impact investigations have on the lives of individuals and activities of organizations. Hence, the effectiveness of an investigator depends, in part, on the promptness of finished work products, such as prepared findings and memorialized witness interviews.
- 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.
Investigators should be able to identify the individual needs of victims and witnesses and as far as is practicable, offer support and assistance to meet those needs.
- Outlook of an officer: The investigator should appear smart and his /her reaction to others should be positive and not aggressive. The investigator should be able to express beliefs and opinions in a forthright manner while taking account of other people’s rights or opinions.
- Conduct: Investigators should behave in a manner which does not discredit the police force or undermine public confidence, whether on or off duty. All officers on duty, whether in uniform or in plain-clothes, must display a positive image of the police force in the standard of their appearance which is appropriate to their operational role. Even when off duty, officers should not behave in a manner that discredits the police force or undermines public confidence
- Chain of command: There must be functional systems for supervision of personnel, observation and respect for chain of command so that the investigation process and the entire institution operates in an organized manner.
To ensure that a focused and good quality investigation takes place, supervisors review each crime and allocate it appropriately, setting and agreeing a clear investigative plan. The supervisor also reviews the case file to ensure that all positive lines of inquiry have been identified and tasked, to promptly resolve the investigation.
Regular supervisory checks must also be completed to check the progress of the investigation, offer support to the officer in charge and to ensure that all investigative opportunities are considered and completed.
- ensure that each member of their team is maximizing enforcement, prevention and intelligence gathering opportunities at each stage of the investigations in which they are involved
- ensure that victim contact is an integral part of any crime review
- address areas of weakness within individual investigations
- support the development of investigative skills within their teams.
- identify generic weaknesses in investigative performance so that they can be addressed
Supervisors are required to document on the review any further inquiries that are necessary. This means that they take responsibility for directing crime investigations and supervising staff effectively and with transparency.
On the contrary, supervisors are required to comply with all the directives issued by the supervisor and report to the same supervisor promptly.
- Qualifications: Individuals assigned to conduct the investigations must possess professional proficiency for the tasks required. The Criminal Investigations Directorate should ensure that investigations are conducted by personnel with the knowledge and skills required to perform investigative activities. For example, examining complex financial transactions, contracts, grants, and business operations; and interviewing government and corporate officials may require using specialized investigative techniques.
- Experience: Depending on the nature of the investigations, additional requirements may be established for specific types of experience (financial skills, computer skills, etc.).
- Physical Capabilities: It is in the interest of the Directorate to establish and maintain a vibrant workforce because an investigator’s duties frequently require irregular unscheduled hours, personal risk, exposure to extreme weather and considerable travel. Investigators are frequently engaged in stressful encounters and can be victims of stress-related medical disorders.
- Safeguard of equipment and or manage resources in a prioritized manner: Planning and foresight are key to effective resource management. Investigators must identify the resource needs of an investigation at the earliest opportunity. These will vary depending on the crime type.
When deciding on the resources required, the investigator must consider the appropriate level of investigative response, the availability and cost of the required resources and whether their use is necessary and proportionate.
2.0. Current Challenges Faced by the Uganda Police Force:
The institution encounters a number of challenges that include:
- Corruption- Corrupt practices of selling police services like Police bond, Police Forms, K9, criminalization of civil matters, extortions on roads etc.
- Civil Disorders.
- Poor command and Management.
- 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 in 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.
3.0. Priority Areas of Focus
In order to mitigate the challenges, UPF has a Strategic Direction (Priority Areas of Focus) guided by four thematic areas.
- Protection of life and property
- Preservation of Law and Order
- Prevention and detection of crime
- Institutional Development, Governance and Management.
Areas of Focus:
- 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 Organisations and ensuring that their personnel are well trained, certified, equipped and supervised so as to compliment the services of the UPF.
- 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 personnel.
- 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.
- 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.
Police officers 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.
- Prevention and detection of crime
- Rebuild and equip the Criminal Investigations and Crime Intelligence Directorates so that we have intelligence led operations and investigations. This will entail the following:
- Strengthening of forensic and medical-legal services for scientific evidence.
- Employing appropriate technology such as surveillance cameras and canine services.
- Strengthen INTERPOL to manage trans-national and trans-border crime.
- Develop capacity to deal with gender and sexual based violence.
- Promotion of community policing through increased public awareness, participation in crime prevention and result oriented policing.
- Timely and effective response to complaints lodged by the public and fellow officers.
- Provision of direction and a positive mental orientation to the subordinate officers so as to create a sense of hope and belonging.
- Engage the unemployed youths in order to lure them away from criminality.
- Institutional Development, Governance and Management
This priority area is geared towards transforming the UPF into a modern professional, service-oriented, pro-people, efficient and effective institution.
- Rebuild the image of the institution.
- Rebuild functional systems, observation and respect for chain of command so that the institution operates in an organised manner.
- Emphasis of planning to ensure proper utilisation of available human and non-human resources. Planning and foresight are key to effective resource management. Police officers must identify the resource needs of the activities to be executed at the earliest opportunity.
- Strengthening UPF training institutions.
- Addressing the welfare of the police personnel.
- Provision of direction and create sense of hope and belonging to the subordinate officers.
- Capacity building in terms of training in leadership, management, command and specialised fields to promote firmness in decision making.
- Build the capacity of all Directorates and units so that they practice Monitoring and Evaluation which is an essential modern and scientific tool in modern management. Monitoring and evaluation of police services is fundamental.
- Promotion of Patriotism. Police officers are Ugandan citizens, and therefore have no reason not to love the country. It is a constitutional obligation above and beyond political, ideological and religious beliefs.
The best way for police officers to show they are patriotic is through dedication to their jobs and duties despite all adversities. Police officers must not only be patriotic themselves but also help educate the younger generation to become patriotic and responsible citizens.
- Empower and strengthen the internal disciplinary mechanisms especially the Disciplinary Courts, the Professional Standards Unit and the Alert squad operations throughout the country.
- Promotion of ethics and integrity in the police force by eradicating corrupt practices. Police officers must be honest, act with integrity and not compromise or abuse their position.
- Mainstreaming gender in all policing operations.
- Periodic Training on Legal Requirements.
- Inspection of both personnel and equipment and police kit on a daily basis with a view of improving the outlook of the officers.
- Timely response to complaints: All responses should be conducted and made in a timely manner. This is especially critical given the impact crime has on the lives of individuals and activities of organizations.
- Promote teamwork and a coordinated approach to eradication of crime.
- Establishment of a reliable Management Information System. The Police must cope with the changes in technology, computerisation, automation, communication all of which have changed the crime configuration.
Transformation of the Uganda Police Force into a modern Professional, service oriented, pro-people and effective institution entails team work, positive mental orientation, patriotism for the nation, exertion of authority, proper judgment of situations, discipline, timely response to complaints, capacity building, addressing the welfare of the police personnel, provision of a sense of belonging and direction to the personnel, good customer care, safeguard of the equipment at our disposal, result oriented policing and putting in place functional systems so that the institution operates in an organised manner.
Finally, I would like to thank the CID management for organizing this retreat. I am confident the presentations will be enriching and will elicit deliberations on how to improve the performance of the force. I wish you the best and encourage you to participate actively during the discussions. Use every opportunity to tap into the vast experience of the resource persons.
With these remarks, I declare this retreat officially open and wish you all successful deliberations.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE