West Nile, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police Professional Standards Unit – PSU has decried the increasing level of general indiscipline among police officers in West Nile.
Records indicate a rise in complaints against police officers from 17 in 2018 to 26 in 2019. Most of the cases are from the districts of Arua, Zombo, Koboko, and Adjumani.
Police misconduct involves among other things; extortion, neglect of duty, detaining suspects beyond the mandatory hours, arrogance, use of abusive language and absenteeism by the officers from duty among other things.
Evans Vuata, the head PSU West Nile region says that although many complaints have been registered against police officers, several others have remained unreported because many people fear to do so.
According to Vuata, challenges of not getting timely information, understaffing, failure by senior police officers to apprehend indisciplined officers, among other things, still hinders their effective performance in instilling good discipline.
However, according to Thomas Otim, an Investigative Officer attached to PSU West Nile, preventive measures including impromptu visits to individual police offices, detention cells monitoring individual police officer’s conduct and periodic assessment of all officers have been employed to enforce discipline among police officers in the region.
Last year the West Nile PSU registered 49 complaints against police officers of which 26 directly relate to misconduct. 31 of these cases have been concluded, while 18 cases are pending inquiries.