MMI Steel Mills has donated a police post valued at 40 Million Shillings to Jinja Taxi Park as a measure to reduce criminal activities in the area. Jinja Taxi Park, with a capacity of accommodating 1000 commuter vehicles connecting to various parts of the country, has been witnessing numerous criminal cases, including theft, simple robbery, and assault, necessitating the establishment of enhanced security measures.
The newly constructed police post is expected to serve an estimated catchment area of approximately 5,000 people, including those from the taxi park, bus park, Napier market, Bugembe industrial area, and local traders. Afiz Atine, the officer in charge of Jinja Taxi Park, explained that they previously operated from a makeshift structure where preliminary cases were registered before being referred to Jinja Central Police Station (CPS).
However, over time, the movements proved to be a hindrance to both potential victims and witnesses, making it difficult to pursue these cases effectively and delaying the dispensation of justice. Atine mentioned that the fully-fledged police post now provides ample space, including detention cells for suspects, which speeds up investigations and enables effective prosecution. Many cases proceed to court, while some assault cases are resolved through out-of-court settlements as parties opt for reconciliation.
The availability of additional space at the police post has led to an increase in manpower, including full-time detectives and specialized police personnel such as homicide investigators, all aimed at maintaining security in the taxi park and surrounding areas. Clarke Erweni, the spokesperson for Jinja Taxi Operators, emphasized that the presence of a well-established police post signifies enhanced security in the area, which will deter criminals.
He contrasted the new facility with the previous makeshift shelter, which had been donated to the police by taxi park leadership in the early 1990s. The outdated structure no longer met the current standards and wasn’t effective in facilitating justice dispensation, leading most people to file complaints directly with Jinja CPS. Erweni pointed out that the old shelter was donated to the police post when it served a much smaller population of about 500 people.
Over time, the population has significantly increased, along with various forms of criminal activities, necessitating both expanded infrastructure and an increased workforce to tackle security challenges. He cited the shift from petty theft in the 1990s to more serious crimes like kidnappings, counterfeit currency issuance, and sexual and physical assaults, which require specialized police personnel to address.
Erweni urged the police leadership to consider elevating the police post to a fully-fledged police station and provide logistical support, such as motorcycles, to facilitate timely patrols and combat criminal gangs in the area. Meanwhile, MMI’s Public Relations Officer, Shashi Kumar, emphasized that the construction of the police post in Jinja Taxi Park reflects their commitment to supporting the needs of local communities in the area, many of whom reside within the jurisdiction of their factory premises.
Kumar noted that before the construction of the Jinja Taxi Park police post, they had already built 40 standby police posts along different highways and major towns across the country, where suspects could be briefly detained before being transferred to the main police stations. He also mentioned that they are currently supporting the construction of the Masese police station with the aim of enhancing security in the major slums of Jinja City.
By Racheal Wambuzi