Inspector General of Police [IGP] Okoth Ochola Monday gave a keynote on strategic direction of Uganda police force to CID officers at the opening of a retreat held in Kibuli CID Training School from 1st – 5th July 2019.
Ochola said the major focus of the above is to rebuild and transform the Uganda Police Force into a modern, Professional, service oriented, pro-people and effective institution.
He said professionalism should be observed by all personnel and that all officers must apply the acquired skills, good judgment, and polite behaviour that is expected from a person who is well trained to carry out police work.
As for investigations, it requires a constant effort to achieve quality in the performance of investigative activities.
He advocated for thoroughness, legal requirement, obtaining, securing, and properly using information; following guidelines from the supervisors and prosecutors and internal policies and procedures, storing and handling evidence and acting with self-control and tolerance treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy.
“Do not under any circumstances inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of inhuman or degrading treatment to any person.”
He called on cops to observer honesty and integrity saying they should not knowingly make any false, misleading or inaccurate statements or entries in any record or document kept or made in connection with any investigations.
“Never accept any gift or gratuity that compromises their impartiality. Never use their position to gain an unauthorized advantage (financial or otherwise) that could give rise to the impression that they are abusing their positions.”
He said to retain the confidence of the communities, cops must exhibit quality, fairness and impartiality.
“Investigators should only use force to the extent that is necessary, proportionate and reasonable, in all the circumstances.”
Chain of command:
There must be functional systems for supervision of personnel, observation and respect for chain of command so that the investigation process and the entire institution operates in an organized manner.
To ensure that a focused and good quality investigation takes place, supervisors review each crime and allocate it appropriately, setting and agreeing a clear investigative plan. The supervisor also reviews the case file to ensure that all positive lines of inquiry have been identified and tasked, to promptly resolve the investigation.
Regular supervisory checks must also be completed to check the progress of the investigation, offer support to the officer in charge and to ensure that all investigative opportunities are considered and completed.
Ochola said the current challenges facing police include; corruption like selling police services like Police bond, Police Forms, K9, criminalization of civil matters, extortions on roads etc.
Others are; Civil Disorders, Poor command and Management, Violations of Human Rights, Laxity in handling assignments, Capacity gaps in terms of professionalism in training, skills development, mind- set, attitudinal change, Staff welfare (housing, remuneration, medical and other basic needs).
He also cited in- country 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.
He said to mitigate these, police will focus on: Protection of life and property, Preservation of Law and Order and Prevention and detection of crime.