According to the latest Annual police crime report, there has been a sharp rise in the number of crimes committed in the country in the year 2022, compared to the previous year.
The report released on Wednesday 22-02-2023 indicated that the volume of crimes increased by more than 18 percent in one year compared to the previous one.
A total number of reported cases in 2022 were 231,653 compared to the 196,081 reported in the previous year 2021. The report notes that the increase is largely due to the rise in property-related crimes and Assault cases
Of these, thefts rose by 41% to 61,508 compared to 43,583 reported in 2021 whereas assaults also rose up by 9% from 29,317 to 32,041,” the report reads. Theft cases were mainly motivated by economic gain.
One of the most notable trends highlighted in the report is the increase in break-ins with a total of 13826 cases reported in 2022. This represents a significant increase from the previous year, and highlights the need for improved cyber security measures both within the private sector and in law enforcement agencies.
Coming number one, two and three respectively, theft, common assaults and domestic violence have maintained the positions they have held for the past two consecutive years in the annual police crime report.
The report indicated that sex related offences like rape and defilement came fourth with 16373 cases reported in 2021, rising from crimes, threatening violence and breakings followed in that order.
The report also highlights regional variations in crime rates, with Kampala Metropolitan North registering the highest number of cases of theft in the country, with 3362 cases reported in 2021 which was followed by Rwizi region in Western Uganda in thefts whereas Kidepo region in Karamoja registered the least number of theft cases.
The report indicates that 17533 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2021, a reduction by 0.74% from the 17664 reported in 2020.The report indicates domestic cases were mainly caused by disputes over family property, failure to provide for families, drug and alcohol abuse and infidelity.
Child related offences have recorded the biggest increase in the number of cases committed and reported to police after going up by 55% from 8681 to 13489.
Robbery cases rose up in 2022 by 30% from 5275 to 6854 whereas homicides rose up by 3% to 4043 from 3912 reported the previous year, 2021.
Sex related offences
In the positives, the report indicates that sex related offences have gradually reduced by at least 10% to 14,693 from the 16,373 reported the previous year.
The same report indicates that defilements went down by 38% from 14,436 in 2021 to 8,960 in 2022.
Attacks on security agencies
The year 2022 saw an unprecedented number of attacks on security personnel, mostly police officers by assailants for guns.
The report indicates there were 32 such cases in which 38 guns and 705 ammunitions were robbed.
However, the report says 30 of these guns and 545 ammunitions have since been recovered.
The Police Crime Intelligence Directorate headed by AIGP Brig Christopher Ddamulira last year launched sting operations to crackdown on assailants who were targeting security personnel and installations in the country.
The resultant operations led to the arrest over 10 suspects as security bust the gang linked to ADF that target police officers and other security installations.
Speaking during the lunch of the report, the Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), AIGP Tom Magambo said there is an ongoing effort to have electronic case tracking systems and this will help solve a number of issues including managing crimes. We also want to have centralized database to support our investigations
He noted that if they succeed at that, “we shall move substantially to investigate and produce suspects before courts of law in the required time”
In response to the report, the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, emphasised the importance of community policing and proactive measures to prevent crime. He also stressed the need for collaboration between law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, including civil society organisations and the private sector.
“We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to address the challenges highlighted in this report and to ensure that Uganda remains a safe and secure place for all its citizens,” said Ochola.
BY DESIRE K AMANYA – Communication Officer, Government Citizen Interaction Centre.