European Union project boosts Community Policing department

May 14, 2018


IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, on Thursday donated equipment to the Community Policing department of the Uganda Police Force.
Mr Ali Abdi, the IOM Chief of Mission, handed over the equipment to AIGP Asan Kasingye, the Chief Political Commissar, at the force’s headquarters in Naguru.
The equipment included six computers and attendant accessories, six mobile phones and three printers

The UGX25 million equipment is to boost the Police’s capacity to register and document cases of inter-communal conflict and to develop an early response mechanism.
The items were donated under the Strengthening Social Cohesion and Stability in Slum Populations (SSCoS) project, which is funded by the European Union.
The project seeks to promote social cohesion in slums by tackling the root causes intercommunal conflict and radicalization. One of the project components aims at improving Police’s capacity to detect and fight radicalization while using human rights-sensitive approaches.

AIGP Kasingye said the equipment would boost Police’s capacity to gather information and identify indicators of radicalization and violent extremism (VE). He said Police would use the information to generate good intelligence and design responses to counter the crime.

“It’s better to prevent crimes before they are committed but to do that you must understand the reason for the creation of the crimes. It’s not good to engage people without documenting and analyzing the warnings,” Kasingye said.  “You may think this donation is small but it’s very big.”

This European Union project has so far trained 51 Police officers as trainers (ToT). The future trainers were given skills on the effectiveness of preventing and countering radicalization that leads to violent extremism. The officers have also been guided on the value of safeguarding human rights and are expected to pass on the lessons learnt to fellow Police officers.

IOM Uganda’s chief of Mission Abdi explained that there was need to promote trust between Police and community members because they are both interdependent.  He hoped that through SSCoS, communities would come to appreciate that the Police is there to serve and protect them.
“We believe that this equipment will improve your work. I think this is one more area (community policing) where Uganda can be a model and be a centre of excellence,” he said.

The SSCoS project started in August 2016 and is due to end in February 2020. It is being implemented by IOM and its partners in the slums of Bwaise, Kisenyi, Katwe, and Kabalagala. IOM works with partners that include the Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD), ACTogether, and Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID).