Ochola issues new arresting guidelines

Kampala- The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, has issued new guidelines for arresting suspects.

While issuing the guidelines yesterday, Mr Ochola banned arrest of suspects without a complainant officially filing a case at police, a practice that police officers have been using, especially during emergency operations.

“A police officer will not affect an arrest unless a formal complaint has been made. All arrests must be done with the full authorisation of the unit supervisors or commanders,” IGP Ochola said.

There have been many cases where police officers have arrested and detained suspects without knowledge of their superiors.

Mr Ochola said the arresting officer must satisfy himself or herself that there is reasonable ground for the arrest.

However, Mr Ochola added that the arrested male suspect must be handcuffed while women should only be handled by female police officers.

He said all suspects arrested by citizens or other security agencies and handed over to police should be subjected to the procedures of suspects’ management.

Human rights agencies have been reporting cases in which security agencies transfer suspects to police cells or detain them for days or months without any formal record.

The police chief said when police follow the guidelines, incidents of scuffle between arresting officers and suspects will be avoided.

Meanwhile, Kampala Metropolitan Police have arrested more than 1,500 suspects for allegedly snatching people’s bags and other valuables in traffic jam during peak hours in the city centre and its suburbs.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Mr Moses Kafeero Kabugo, said many items were recovered from the suspects.

Mr Kafeero urged people who lost their items to visit police stations to identify their property.

“We took 436 suspects to court. They were remanded to different prisons. Others that are still in our cells will be taken to court on Monday,” Mr Kafeero said.

“These operations will continue until all roads are secure during peak hours,” he added.

Criminals target motorists and passengers in traffic jam.

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