The police have assured the general public of tight security during the Uganda International Trade Fair (UGITF) which will take place for the first time in two years following disruptions of COVID-19 pandemic.
The trade fair is scheduled to take place from Monday, 3rd October to 10th October; under the theme “Business recovery by harnessing local sourcing and deepening value chains integration”.
“It is, therefore, one of the biggest national calendar events that attracts local and international manufacturers, traders, distributors from various sectors,” SCP Enanga Fred, Police Spokesperson told the press on Thursday at UMA Showgrounds in Lugogo, Kampala.
This year, the Trade Fair is expected to attract an average of 300,000 visitors, including high-profile individuals such as Heads of State, Politicians, Executives and celebrities.
“Although there are no specific threats directed towards the event, it can, however, be a magnet for serious security concerns. We, however, would like to reassure the organizers and the public that security and safety at the Trade Fair is guaranteed,” Enanga added.
He said the police have mobilised manpower (overt, covert) and logistical resources including digital resources to counter all forms of threats, vulnerabilities and eventualities towards the event.
According to Enanga, their security details comprise personnel from General duties, FFU, CT, Traffic, Canine, Fire Brigade, Medical, ICT, UPDF and the Joint Intelligence components, who will maintain a heightened presence throughout the event.
“We have profiled the surrounding areas and mapped out routes for patrols on foot, motorcycles and vehicular. The presence of CCTV cameras and other security technology will help us monitor all areas of the venue at all times. It gives us a chance of identifying and catching perpetrators.”
He said they are also reviewing the safety management plan of the organisation. This includes their response plans, security, staffing levels, traffic controls, access controls, emergency evacuation plans etc.
He further shared tips to the attendees to help guard against criminals who may wish to take advantage of the popular Trade Fair.
Thorough screening processes
Due to high volumes of people coming in and out of the venue, the police have put in place very robust screening processes, for all who enter the Trade Fair.
“We have installed walk-through metal detectors, visual inspections of bags and other items, restricted the number of entrances to the venue and make use of the K-9 security sweeps.”
Each exhibitor is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits in connection with their participation in the event. They should fully comply with the applicable regulations pertaining to the Trade fair. They are advised to leak-up valuable parts and components such as electronics etc.
Amidst threats of COVID-19 and EBOLA
It’s essential that the health protocols of wearing masks, handwashing with soap, use of disinfectors and social distancing are followed.
Trade show goers and attendees tend to lower their guard and become susceptible to criminals and fraudsters. “We are asking everyone to exercise caution and be wary of risks,” Enanga noted.
- You are further advised to carry your ID or other identification documents.
- Do not let children or elderly persons stay away
- Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged, where possible carry a power bank or charge to power the battery.
- Do not leave your mobile phone in the open, when you are finished using your phone kindly put it away. Thieves can grab a phone from a hand or table in seconds.
- Keep valuables like wallets and purses close or out of sight.
- Do not leave your eats and drinks unattended. It’s better to consume and finish.
- Ensure you have a schedule that reflects your priorities. Know what you need to achieve at the show.
- Ensure you have transport money to and from the venue. Avoid lifts from strangers or non-taxis. Always have a plan on how to return safely.
- Security personnel will conduct spot checks of individuals regularly. If approached fully cooperate with them. There shall not be any tolerance for violence or disruptive behaviour. Drugs are prohibited.
- In case of serious medical emergencies, medical teams from the UPF and organizers, are in place to attend to any health concerns including injuries, allergies and other medical conditions
- Beware of your surroundings. And report any suspicious objects or movements to the Police.
- Fire brigade access zones must be kept free at all times for ease of access.
- Emergency evacuation plans are in place for safety or security reasons.0800199699
“Generally, we would like to wish all exhibitors, guests, and well-wishers a successful and incident-free Trade Fair. The security measures in place are strict, but are meant to give all attendees and exhibitors a safe environment and peace of mind.”
For any other Police or security assistance, please call the national operation emergency centre at Police headquarters, Naguru on 0800199699, 0707600773 or 0776999136.