Budaka MP Calls for Review of Crime Preventers Model

2751 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The group comprises volunteers selected from the communities to promote and implement community policing through a model of neighbourhood watch, commonly known as mayumba Kumi. They are selected on the recommendation of Local Council leaders and trained by police to act as a link between the community and police in detecting and preventing crime.

Budaka County MP Kezekiah Mbogo has called for a review of the role and mandate of Crime Preventers, a group of civilian vigilantes recruited to work alongside the Police Force.

The group comprises volunteers selected from the communities to promote and implement community policing through a model of neighbourhood watch, commonly known as mayumba Kumi. They are selected on the recommendation of Local Council leaders and trained by police to act as a link between the community and police in detecting and preventing crime.

Their training focuses on community policing courses aimed at empowering them with self-defense skills, basic preservation of crime scene, detecting crime and reporting procedure, community policing strategies, ideological orientation and patriotism.

But over the years, crime preventers have been singled out among those perpetrating crime and violence across the country. Several Ugandans believe that the vigilantes, a formation of outgoing police chief Gen Kale Kayihura, are strongly affiliated to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party and carry out assaults on rivals in the opposition without any reprimand.

Mbogo says that although the crime preventer's concept was unique, the choice of personnel and manner in which they were recruited left a lot to be desired.  He says that government needs to develop clear guidelines stipulating the mandate, command structure and actual numbers of crime preventers in order to streamline the operations of the group. 

The call comes a few days after the appointment of Okoth Ochola as the new Inspector General of Police, taking on an office previously occupied by Gen Kale Kayihura. 
 
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Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya says that the group of vigilantes needs to be disbanded as a way of taming crime in the communities.  He told URN that the start of the crime preventers program was marred with irregularities, which turned the rather good concept into an anti-people gang.
 
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There are over 200,000 crime preventers in the Country.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.