Sex related crimes, especially defilement, is one of the biggest challenges still faced by police in Uganda, according to the Force’s boss, Martin Okoth Ochola.
According the IGP, a total of 13,682 girls were defiled in 2019 as indicated by the police report.
“Defilement still poses a big problem in the police. In 2019, whereas there was some decrease in defilement cases by about 11.4 percent from 2018, a total of 13682 children were defiled. This is unacceptable,” Mr Ochola told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday while releasing the police annual crime report 2019.
Defilement cases in past years
Organised criminal syndicates committed heinous crimes within the regions of Kampala Metropolitan Policing Area, Greater Masaka, and Busoga areas.
“I am happy to report that in 2019, a total of ten criminal syndicates were dismantled, their members arrested and charged accordingly, and others have been sentenced to death by hanging,” he said.
Fire and rescue emergencies: There was a 1.9 percent decrease in cases of fire emergencies handled in 2019. There were 24 false calls responded to by the Fire and Rescue Services Directorate.
“This does not only put the lives of our officers in danger but is also a waste of resources and time for the Force. I urge the citizens of our country to desist from making false calls about fire emergencies,” the IGP said.
Traffic and Road Safety: There was a 0.4 percent increase in the number of crashes reported from 12,805 in 2018 to 12,858 in 2019, out of which 3,407 were fatal, 5,992 were serious and 3,459 were minor.
Generally, Mr Ochola said Uganda police force had registered a decrease of crimes, as indicated in the report.
According to the IGP, the Force registered a 9.8 percent decrease of crimes reported.
He said 238,746 cases had been reported to police in 2018 while 215, 224 cases reported in 2019.
“By the end of 2019, about 74,810 cases were taken to court, out of which 22,105 cases secured convictions. A total of 1,151 cases were acquitted and 11,472 cases were dismissed while 40,085 cases are still pending in court,” he said.
He attributed the decrease in crimes reported in 2019 to government investment in anti – crime infrastructure, continued community sensitisation against engaging in crime, busting and dismantling of organised criminal syndicates throughout the country.
“In 2018, a total of 18 criminal gangs were dismantled and in 2019, ten criminal syndicates were dismantled, with their members arrested, charged and convicted while others are on remand,” he said.
Further, the IGP said conducting operations targeting criminal hideouts and places, and recovery of suspected robbed/stolen property and dismantling markets for such items, improve time of response by Police in situations of emergencies, continued support from sister security agencies in responding and investigation of cases, and provision of resources like motor vehicles to the force and Regional CID officers to enhance supervision of cases, are some of the interventions that led to the decrease in crimes reported.