The administration of Uganda Police Force (UPF) has explained why there has been withdrawal of officers from some police posts and stations, as well as the closure of the same. There have been reports of closure of some police posts and withdrawal of officers in recent days.
These actions came after unknown assailants attacked Busiika Police Station, killed two police officers and took off with guns. (Read Details Here).
So, why would Uganda Police Force close some stations (and or posts), withdraw policemen and policewomen in the of criminal attacks? Where would this leave the communities that these officers have been policing and securing? Won’t they now become prone to more deadly attack? And what is exactly happening?
Uganda Police Force spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga has explained that the changes are due to an ongoing reorganization and consolidation of police units for better service delivery. He revealed that President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni had ordered for changes in the territorial policing doctrine. He further revealed what the new model will look like once fully rolled out.
“During the 25th Police Council meeting, in November, 2019, H.E. The President, directed the Police to review its territorial policing doctrine, by focusing more on policing at the Sub-county level, to help increase efficiency, consistency and stronger partnership with the community at that level,” noted Enanga.
“As a result, the UPF conducted a study of the proposed sub-county policing model to ensure an effective policing policy, of the urban and rural areas of the community. The model is premised on the need to enhance police visibility, automation of policing services through advanced technology, consolidation of the available resources and assets at the sub-county. In addition, the key aspects of the model would involve; the establishment of at least one police station per sub-county, deployment of not less than 20 personnel, deployment of motorcycle squads, installation of counter phones that are popularized among residents, dedicated counter response teams, critical facilities, modern lockup facilities, better accommodation and medical services.”
At the moment, police is conducting a pilot rollout of the sub county policing model and the implementation has begun with some regions. Enanga added that the new model will be rolled out in a phased out manner to ensure that safety, law and order are not compromised.
“After a thorough study and evaluation of the model, a framework for the implementation of the sub-county policing model was done, although it was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The UPF is now piloting the practicability of the model in selected areas within the Kampala Metropolitan Policing area and in the Central Regions of Savanah, Katonga, Ssezibwa and Wamala. It’s success will lead to its full scale implementation plan to cover all 2624 sub-counties in the country,” said Enanga.
“We want to inform our local leaders that the implementation of the model, will take a phased approach, that is determined by the available capabilities at the station of deployable personnel, logistical requirements of transport, office, residential facilities and communication facilities.”
He also went on to assure the nation that the merger and implementation of the new model will not but communities at risk of attacks.
“There are, however, fears from the local leaders and the communities, in the piloted areas that the merger of forces will impair performance in our local policing. They have raised concerns of reduced police response and visibility due to distance, which may impact safety and security in their localities,” the police publicist explained.
“We want to assure the public that the restructuring and reorganization is in its pilot phase. And a full spectrum of Police services to the entire sub-county, will continue to be provided in a more effective and efficient manner. The sub-county policing will handle emergencies, traffic, forensic experts, crime intelligence, and other specialized units. In addition, the merger of forces, allows for a more unified procedure of dealing with major incidents such as terrorism, domestic extremism and targeted attacks on police officers and stations, like in the recent Busiika Police station attack, where two police lives and two guns were lost. The sub-county policing model will increase capacity to counter such violent attacks and hostilities.”
He further waxed lyrical about the capacity of the UPF to handle the new changes, as well as how the new model will change policing for the benefit of communities.
“In the past, we have implemented the merger of forces in a strategic manner but sustained the delivery and responsiveness of policing services. At the sub-county level, the force is bigger to deliver protection, safety and security,” he noted. “Therefore, the merger of forces under the sub-county policing model, has good potential and will not necessarily lead to a decline in local policing, since the sub-county is still at a local level. We will be able to maintain community level outcomes and relationships and sustain the neighborhood policing strategies.”
Meanwhile, Enanga has left Ugandans shocked after a gaffe in which he said there was ‘Ebola 19‘ in Uganda. (Read Details and Watch Clip Here).