Police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura has issued directives for the arrest of all police officers found to be moving in isolation while in possession of guns. He said that the new policy will help to reduce on the increasing cases of gun thefts from police officers by criminals.
Kayihura said that this is part of a combination of new initiatives adopted to reduce crimes committed through use of unregulated guns.
“I have issued a curricular to all Officers-in-charge (O.Cs) and commanders to arrest every policeman found moving alone. That is indiscipline,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kayihura told journalists on Friday.
“We have lost some officers as a result of these criminals and its has become a big problem. These guns are stolen and used against the public,” he added.
As a preventative measure, Kayihura has instructed O.Cs to ensure that all police officers are transported to and from their residences when it is late. He said that police has the capacity to assist such officers since the police stations have vehicles and motorcycles.
“At Kira Road police station, they are already doing this. If it is late, and an officer gets scared to move home alone, they are escorted home,” he said.
Several cases have been reported involving police officers who have been targeted and robbed of their riffles by criminal elements.
On Friday morning, a lone police officer was shot dead by assailants after they tricked him into assisting them to fix a ‘broken’ motorcycle in Mbarara district. The murdered officer was bodyguard to Mbarara High Court resident judge, Duncan Gaswaga.
Police will also carry out an audit on firearms in the entire Force as a way of ascertaining how many of the guns are in its custody. The IGP said the audit will also include private security companies.
Kayihura made the statements after giving a review of the state of crime in 2017 as the year comes to a close. While he acknowledged that the year began with high incidences of violent crime, he said the trend has gone down.
He attributed this to efforts made in community policing, enhancement of technical capabilities and the cooperation from the public.