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In the local media yesterday 10/8/2014, some politicians castigated the Police for allegedly politicizing the crime preventions and skill enhancement course for students from tertiary institutions and universities that is ongoing at Kabalye.
First and foremost, it is not true that the students who volunteered to participate in the three-week long crime prevention and skill enhancement course are being politically indoctrinated by the police. The Police have a mandate to prevent and detect crime in close cooperation with the population in general. Through the community policing philosophy, the Police believe it is easier and safer for all concerned to prevent a crime than apprehend a criminal who has already committed a crime. The crime prevention and skill enhancement course therefore, is a proactive approach that requires an informed and involved public.
It should also be noted that the initiative was originated by a group of students from Makerere University who have since rolled it out to their colleagues in all tertiary institutions and universities countrywide. The program is conducted at the Police Training School Kabalye that is well equipped with highly skilled and knowledgeable instructors who conduct typically customized trainings for the students. The course emphasizes basic means of security, perspectives on a range of policy issues like leadership, self-esteem, employability, and breaks the cycle of violence and crime. It is in other words one way of mobilizing an entire generation into a culture of peace country wide.
The students are equipped with skills and initiatives to deal with situations both mental and physical that enables them to work closely with the Police, Community and University officials in identifying and addressing crime, fear and quality of life issues. These include basic counter terrorism training, safety related issues in campus like sexual assault, alcohol and drug awareness, cyber crime and security assessment in their daily life situation. The students are also taken through basic self defense skills as a viable option once attacked.
So far 2000 students have benefitted from this course and their coordinators have vowed to continue working with the Police on personal safety, crime prevention and crime reporting to help safeguard them and many others against the dangers of crime to their well-being. They are also free to form crime prevention clubs in their respective institutions if they so wish.
The Police will therefore, continue engaging the youth and inspire them into growing up more aware and sensitive to the diversity of their community to help create an impact in transforming their lives, of their communities and the country at large. The public is also invited at any stage to come and witness these programs at the Police Training School to help appreciate its value to all.

Fred Enanga
Press and Public Relations Officer
Uganda Police

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