One of the features that distinguishes policing from other occupations is the lawful authority given to police to arrest and detain suspects. The disposal of a person(s) arrested by a police officer, is provided for by Law under Section 25(1) of the Police Act, CAP 303 (Act 16/2006). Our responses range from cautioning suspects, releasing suspects on police bond, with or without sureties, and charging suspects to court.
The circumstances under which the police bond are issued, have attracted significant public interests due to concerns of misuse, abuse, bribery and extortions, which has an impact on the reputation of the police force.
As a result, the Justice Law and Order Sector in coordination with Police Management, through the Directorate of Research, Planning and Development, held a consultative and innovative review process, on the issuance of the police bond they came up with new features to the new police form 18 (Police Bond),to help address concerns of extortion and corruption.
The new form has now been made in form of a booklet, with three self carbonated papers of which, the original copy is to be issued to the suspect, the duplicate copy to be attached to the casefile, while the triplicate copy remains in the book. The form includes the District, station, case reference number, lock-up serial number, date on which the suspect was taken into custody, ID number and contact of the suspect and his sureties.
In addition, it has an inserted WATER MARK SHED stating POLICE BOND IS FREE, telephone contacts (both toll free and office contacts) of the Professional Standards Unit, through which, one can report a case of extortion; the rank and name of the officer issuing the police bond. The form also has the word “NIL” inserted in the blank space, for the amount to be forfeited in the event that the suspect/surety defaults on the bond terms and conditions.
Also included is a clause to remind the person benefitting from the bond and his or her sureties, their liability in the event of defaulting on the tterms and conditions of the bond. At the back, there is an activity ladder, to document the reporting schedule of the suspect.
We are already piloting the amended police bond in 20 districts which include the following; Kabarole, Kasese, Arua, Yumbe,Kitgum, Gulu, Kiryandongo, Tororo, Amuria, Pader,Kaberamaido, Kampala, Kyegegwa, Bundibugyo, Abim, Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Kotido, Kabongo, Moroto and Napak. We strongly believe the new form will empower the public to resist extortionist demands for payment for bond, it will enable management fast track a specific bond to a specific station or district through serial numbers and the district name. It will further enable us know, the type of crimes that are prevalent in a specific district, help ascertain the number suspects arrested against those taken to court. It will also guide management in determining funds for the feeding of suspects, establish the duration of stay in custody in order to minimize over detention and help us eliminate issuance of PF18 by unauthorized persons.
The new form will be rolled out after an effective and successful pilot study.
CP Enanga Fred
7th February 2022