Communication from the IGP to Police Officers during the Regional Police Meetings in Sipi and Elgon

First of all, I welcome and thank all of you who are working hard to serve our population so as to fulfil the Uganda Police Force Mission and also achieve its Vision.

Our achievements have been many but the challenges are equally quite a lot. Therefore, the purpose of such meetings is to jointly forge a uniform path and strategic guidelines to govern our policing activities as enshrined in Articles 211 and 212 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ministerial Policy Statement, National Development Plan, The Police Act, The Police Standing Orders and Police Strategic Plan.

Our major focus whenever we have these meetings is not to apportion blame but to identify the common challenges and then startegise on how to rebuild and Transform the Uganda Police Force into a modern, Professional, service oriented, pro-people and effective institution.

Current Challenges Faced by the Uganda Police Force

The institution encounters a number of challenges that include and not limited to:

Staff welfare (housing, remuneration, medical and other basic needs).

Corruption- for example; selling police services like Police bond, Police Forms, K9, criminalization of civil matters, extortions on roads etc.

Financial constraints due to limited budgetary allocations.

Civil Disorders.

Command and Management challenges.

Violations of Human Rights.

Laxity in handling assignments.

Capacity gaps in terms of professionalism in training, skills development, mind- set, attitudinal change, maintenance of the available equipment, use of robust scientific methods of intelligence gathering and crime investigation.

National and Trans- national Crimes such as Terrorism and Violent crimes, Cyber- crime, Trafficking in drugs and persons, Human sacrifice, Trading in wild life and their products, Environmental related crimes, Proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Slow and poor response to emergencies or occurrences/distress calls.

Lack of teamwork

Solutions to Policing Challenges (Priority Areas of Focus)

In order to mitigate the Policing challenges, UPF has a Strategic Direction (Priority Areas of Focus) guided by four thematic areas.

Protection of life and property

Preservation of Law and Order

Prevention and detection of crime

Institutional Development, Governance and Management.

Protection of life and property

Enhance the capability of UPF emergency and rescue services.

Strengthen traffic and road safety enforcement and education.

Expansion of marine and air policing services.

Strengthen the capability of UPF in counter terrorism and management of violent crimes.

Enhance partnership with Private Security Organizations and ensuring that their personnel are well trained, certified, equipped and supervised so as to compliment the services of the UPF.

Promotion of community policing to increase public awareness and participation in crime prevention.

Clear and effective communication to the personnel.

Preservation of law and order

Professionalism should be observed by all personnel. All officers must apply the acquired skills, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is well trained to carry out police work. You must apply constant efforts to achieve quality in the performance of Police activities to the total satisfaction of the population that we are mandated to serve.

Observation of human rights and eradication of violation of rights of suspects especially torture as an investigative technique. Police officers must act with self-control and tolerance treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. I am particularly happy that the Chairman Uganda Human Rights Commission will be with us to lend support to finding a practical way ahead in this matter.

Promotion of customer care.Most individuals who come into contact withthe police, such as victims, witnesses or suspects, may be vulnerable and therefore may require additional support and assistance.

You should be able to identify the individual needs of such persons and as far as is practicable, offer support and assistance to meet those needs.

Prevention and detection of crime

Rebuild and equip the Criminal Investigations and Crime Intelligence Directorates so that we have intelligence led operations and investigations. This will entail the following:

Strengthening of forensic and medical-legal services for scientific evidence.

Employing appropriate technology such as surveillance cameras and canine services.

Strengthen INTERPOL to manage trans-national and trans-boarder crime.

Develop capacity to deal with gender and sexual based violence.

Enhancing partnership with the community.

Promote preventive policing.

Timely and effective response to complaints lodged by the public and fellow officers.

Engage the unemployed youths in order to lure them away from criminality.

Institutional Development, Governance and Management

This priority area is geared towards transforming the UPF into a modern professional, service-oriented, pro-people, efficient and effective institution.

Rebuild the image of the institution.

Rebuild functional systems, observation and respect for chain of command so that the institution operates in an organised manner.There must be a streamlined procedure of giving and receiving lawful orders and instructions.

Emphasis of planning to ensure proper utilisation of available human and non-human resources.Planning and foresight are key to effective resource management. Police officers must identify the resource needs of the activities to be executed at the earliest opportunity.

Strengthening UPF training institutions.

Addressing the welfare of the police personnel.

Provision of direction and create sense of hope and belonging to the subordinate officers.

Capacity building in terms of training in leadership, management, command and specialised fields to promote firmness in decision making. The training of a police officer should be a continuous process. A Police officer should receive formal and on-the-job exposure prior to any assignment requiring independent application of a given subject matter. A continuous career development program should be established to provide the proper preparation, training, and guidance to develop into professionally qualified police officer and supervisors.

Build the capacity of all Directorates and units so that they practice Monitoring and Evaluation which is an essential and scientific tool in modern management. Monitoring and evaluation of police services is fundamental.

Promotion of Patriotism. Police officers are Ugandan citizens, and therefore have no reason not to love the country. It is a constitutional obligation above and beyond political, ideological and religious beliefs. The best way for police officers to show they are patriotic is through dedication to their jobs and duties. Police officers must not only be patriotic themselves but also help educate the younger generation to become patriotic and responsible citizens. All police officers must keep in mind that as citizens they not only have the right but also are obligated to embrace patriotism. As law enforcement personnel they must set an example in abiding by the law, otherwise they won't be able to enforce the law correctly.

Empower and strengthen the Alert squad, disciplinary mechanisms and the Professional Standards Unit operations throughout the country.

Promotion of ethics and integrity in the police force by eradicating corrupt practices.Police officers must be honest, act with integrity and not compromise or abuse their position.

Mainstreaming gender in all policing operations.

Periodic Training on Legal Requirements.

Inspection of both personnel and equipment and police kit on a daily basis with a view of improving the outlook of the officers. An officer should appear smart and his /her reaction to others should be positive and not aggressive. All officers on duty, whether in uniform or in plain-clothes, must display a positive image of the police force in the standard of their appearance which is appropriate to their operational role. Even when off duty, Police officers should not behave in a manner that discredits the police force or undermines public confidence.

Timely response to complaints: All responses should be conducted and made in a timely manner. This is especially critical given the impact crime has on the lives of individuals and activities of organizations.

Promote teamwork and a coordinated approach to eradication of crime.

Establishment of a reliable Management Information System. The Police must cope with the changes in technology, computerization, automation, communication all of which have changed the crime configuration.

4.0. Conclusion

Transformation of the Uganda Police Force into a modern Professional, service oriented, pro-people and effective institution entails team work, positive mental orientation, patriotism for the nation, exertion of authority, proper judgment of situations, discipline, timely response to complaints, capacity building, addressing the welfare of the police personnel, provision of a sense of belonging and direction to the personnel, good customer care, safeguard of the equipment at our disposal, result oriented policing and putting in place functional systems so that the institution operates in an organised manner.

Thank you for your attention.

Source: Uganda Police Force

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