Partnership With Police Is an Asset [opinion]

The inspector general of police, General Kale Kayihura, has again been entrusted with the mantle of steering Uganda police in securing both lives and properties of Ugandans and visitors alike.

Through community policing strategies, the police aims at creating a united front in fighting crime and prosecuting suspected criminals to get justice for those offended. Achieving security for all is not a one-man show but a joint effort that seeks to create a win-win reality.

In the 1940 novel For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, themes of comradeship and sacrifice stand out alongside other equally-important themes. Ernest Hemingway was a highly-respected fiction writer of his time and this novel later became a basis for filmmakers. His fiction very often depicted reality.

Police have launched a fight against corruption amongst traffic personnel, as well as a continuation of the rectification campaign to fight the ‘sale’ of police services such as police bond and ‘across-the-counter’ services of statement recording.

One of the major challenges the police face in fighting these irregularities is lack of adequate evidence since persons offended are hesitant to report for fear of being identified.

They instead talk amongst their friends and leave the injustice to pass, resulting into a pile of complaints. This passiveness in dismissing issues, though to some extent justified, has helped ill-minded persons continue abusing the law.

Avenues to address such misconduct are in place, such as the Professional Standards Unit, the Inspectorate of Government, and the whistle-blowers forum. These are meant to encourage Ugandans to report these offences.

The fear of “kitandugaho”, loosely translated as “let it not come from me”, should now become a thing of the past as we all embrace police and become part and parcel of policing.

Reporting such telltale signs to the police not only depicts neighbourhood involvement but also allows the police to respond timely in combating corruption and other crimes. People always say “God is the witness”. But take an example where a speeding vehicle passes by you and you do not inform police. If that car is involved in an accident and kills people a few meters away, the driver is responsible for the accident.

But for not reporting, you too bear responsibility. As the Uganda Police Force celebrated 107 years of service, the centenary theme reflected the policing strategy: “From colonial policing to community policing a century of challenges , achievements and transformation.”

The force calls upon all Ugandans not to look upon the past with remorse but use it as a learning experience to achieve greater and better security.

All citizens actively taking part in joint patrols with the area police, looking out for their neighbours, adopting and sharing safety tips and volunteering as crime preventers will enhance security.

This November, the community policing initiative has seen at least 5,000 youths head to the Police Training School, Kabalye, where they will benefit in physical fitness training, self-defence, crime prevention skills and martial arts. The crime preventers will also come face-to-face with law tutors to improve their understanding of crime and how to help to prevent it in their communities.

A favourite quote from the novel For Whom The Bell Tolls highlights the need for working together for the greater good of the whole entity, when the protagonist says “… … .any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.”

Indeed, securing Ugandans, their families and properties calls us all to partner and report injustices, to enjoy the development that comes with hard work and sacrifice.

The author is the deputy police spokesperson.

Source : The Observer

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