IGP Ochola sends warning to officers who engage in corruption and torture of suspects.
The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola has passed on a strong warning to officers who engage in corruption and torture of suspects.
Speaking during the opening of the third retreat of Crime Investigations Department (CID) officers, IGP Ochola said that the police’s main duty is to enforce law and order, and ensure fair justice not to torture suspects.
“We must enforce law and order. We should eradicate abuse and torture of suspects during interrogation, as criminal investigations officers,” he said.
“After the five days here, and you go back and torture suspects. That will not be allowed,” he added.
Under the theme ‘Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the CID functions; a collective action’, IGP Ochola identified that the strategic direction of the police comes from the mission, vision and constitution, standing orders and the Police Act which every officer is required to follow.
This is aimed at transforming the Police into a modern, professional, service oriented and pro-people institution.
So according to him, the need to observe professionalism by all trained police personnel through applying the acquired skills, a good judgment as well as having polite behaviour is a very important aspect that all officers ought to possess.
IGP Ochola as well mentioned that all investigations should be conducted and reported on time, stressing they (investigations) have a great impact on the lives of individuals and activities of organisations.
“Interviews, evidence connection, and other activities must be initiated, conducted and reported in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations, and should be conducted with due respect of the rights and privacy of those involved,” he said
“You must respect the rights of those involved both the suspects, complainants and so on. Officers must follow guidelines from their supervisors and prosecutors, internal procedures, act with self-control and be tolerant while dealing with members of the public,” he added.
In addition, IGP Ochola also claimed that corruption practices like selling police forms and bonds, indiscipline and poor command and management remain a big challenge to the police force which needs to be solved.
He further went on and gave an example of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) that has been putting them on top of the list of human rights abuses.
“We need to change that. I worked as CID director but I left without records of torture. We must observe human rights in all we do to rebuild the image of the force,” he said.
Meanwhile, the five-day retreat that is aimed at enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the CID functions will end on Friday 5th July.
By John Dalton Kigozi