Police blames inability to eliminate crime on Manpower, insufficient budget and logistical constraint challenges.
By Racheal Nuwahereza
According to the Annual Crime report released on Wednesday at Police headquarters in Naguru, which highlighted details on management and performance, Crime distribution, status and gravity of the reported cases, it was revealed that the efforts of police to tackle and eliminate crime are hampered with internal and external challenges within the criminal justice chain among which are limited manpower, logistical constraints, insufficient budget, lack of electronic case tracking system and record management.
The report which was launched by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Martin Okoth Ochola indicated that in the year 2021, there was a 0.1% increase in the volume of crimes reported to Police up from 195,931 cases reported in the year 2020 to 196,081 cases in 2021.
Of these, 43,583 were cases of theft, 29,317 cases of common assaults and 17,533 cases for domestic violence were reported to police compared to 41,950 cases of theft, 24,799 for common assault and 17,664 cases for domestic violence registered in 2020.
The revelation indicates an increase in the number of theft, common assaults and domestic violence crimes where by these cases have for two consecutive years been leading in the annual police crime report.
The report attributes the slight increase in theft cases to economic gain.
“These crime trends were greatly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the subsequent opening of all sectors of the economy,” read the report in part.
The report indicated that sex related offences like rape and defilement came fourth with 16,373 cases reported in 2021, up from the 16,144 cases registered in 2020, whereas economic crimes, threatening violence and breakings followed in that order.
The report indicates that by the end of the year 2021, 19,017 cases had been taken to court, 6,459 cases secured convictions, 96 cases were acquitted, 1,181 cases were dismissed and 11,281 pending court.
The report also revealed that in 2021, 51% of the crimes were committed in rural areas, while 45% were committed in urban centres, and the rest committed along highways.
The report indicates that 3,362 theft cases were in 2021 registered in Kampala Metropolitan North which encompasses areas of Kawempe, Wandegeya, Old Kampala, Wakiso , Kasangati and Kakiri Police divisions and respective police stations.
The report also revealed that KMP North was followed by Rwizi region in Western Uganda in thefts whereas Kidepo region in Karamoja registered the least number of theft cases.
The report shows 4,308 cases of motorcycle theft were reported in 2021signifying a 7.0% increase.
The report indicates that 17,533 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2021 down from the 17,664 reported in 2020 indicating a 0.74% reduction.
The report attributed domestic violence cases to disagreements over family property, failure to provide for families, drug and alcohol abuse and infidelity.
According to the report, of the 17,533 victims of domestic violence,12,877 were females, 3,103 males and the rest were children.
According to the same report, 1,796 domestic violence cases were reported in Albertine Police region followed by Aswa with 1,663 cases with Kigezi and Elgon regions having the least number of domestic violence cases reported in 2021.
Speaking during the lunch of the report, the police CID director, AIGP Tom Magambo said going forward; the force will try to put in place efforts to manage the crimes.
“There is an ongoing effort to have electronic case tracking systems and this will help us solve a number of issues including managing crimes. We also want to have centralized database to support our investigations,” said Magambo.
He noted that they intend to combine the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), vehicle and passport databases into one database.
“If we succeed at that, we shall move substantially to investigate and produce suspects before courts of law in the required time. We are also working at digitizing records to ease retrieval,” said Magambo.