Police have started piloting the amended police bond guidelines in 20 districts.
According to Fred Enanga the Police Spokesperson, police is already piloting the amended police bond in the districts of Kabarole, Kasese, Arua, Yumbe,Kitgum, Gulu, Kiryandongo, Tororo, Amuria, Pader, Kaberamaido, Kampala, Kyegegwa, Bundibugyo, Abim, Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Kotido, Kabongo, Moroto and Napak.
Enanga noted that the changes were agreed upon after 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.
Enanga said that the circumstances under which the police bond are issued, 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, Enanga says that 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 new bond will also have 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,” Enanga told journalists at the police headquarters in Naguru.
He said that they strongly believe the new form will empower the public to resist extortionist demands for payment for bond, and also 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.” He said.
Adding, “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.”
He revealed that the new form will be rolled out after an effective and successful pilot study.
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). The responses according to Enanga, range from cautioning suspects, releasing suspects on police bond, with or without sureties, and charging suspects to court.