Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | In a bid to boost and speed up investigations capacity, Uganda Police Force is building a technology interface with National Identification Registration Authority –NIRA so as to access data for wanted criminals or suspects under investigation.
Police’s director for ICT, Felix Baryamwisaki and director Forensic Science Andrew Mubiru confirmed to Uganda Radio Network that the system was being built and it could soon be declared complete to enable the force access data at will.
A section of Ugandans have been wondering why police struggles to find details of suspects yet majority of Ugandan adults were registered by NIRA during the process of making National Identification Cards.
On many occasions for example, police get stuck with unclaimed bodies. In 2019 alone, police buried more than 500 unclaimed bodies. Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the director of police health services during an interview with URN a few months ago said people move without identification documents.
Other people die in accidents but remain unclaimed according to Dr Byaruhanga because their documents get stolen by ‘rescuers’ who varnish with wallets or bags.
Dr Byaruhanga’s revelation left many people questioning why police was finding it difficult to identify people using data collected by NIRA. Police pathologist said it was difficult to make identity searches with NIRA because of the many bodies they receive for postmortem every day.
Gilbert Kadilo, the NIRA communication director during an interview with URN a few months ago, indicated that it was upon police to set up an interface that would enable it access data they want. Kadilo explained that data with NIRA is available for all government and lawful private institutions such as telecom companies and banks.
Mubiru and Baryamwisaki without divulging details of the data connection systems being built, said it will be easy for every unit of police involved in fighting crime to access data of people being wanted or investigated.
An ICT police officer said the interface is being established at National CCTV Command Centre which was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in November 2019. The system will see NIRA, CID, DFS, DPP and Court access information during investigations and prosecution.
“We’re not setting up the system for only NIRA and police, but also the DPP office and court will be able to get details of suspects or convicts at any time by just typing in the person’s name,” an ICT police officer said. “This is why we also profiling every person involved in capital offences.”
Last month, Mubiru revealed that DFS was profiling 853 repeated offenders also known as serial criminals across the country. The data captured includes photos.