Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Police Force lacks a central data base for wanted suspects, according to a mini survey by URN at various Police Stations in Kampala.
A wanted person database can be digital or manual detailing the names of the suspects, their pictures and other bio data, which can help the public or officers to identify them.
The data base should be easily accessible to police officer to help in the arrest of wanted suspects whenever they are found. Our reporter visited Old Kampala, CPS Kampala, Kira Division and Luweero police stations to ascertain the availability of the data base of wanted suspects in vain.
Some of the officers told URN on condition of anonymity that there was neither a local or national data base for wanted suspects. An officer at Central Police Station Kampala told URN that the only way to access details of wanted persons is to refer to the investigation file.
“We have had very many suspects being charged of an offense only to realize after they have even served their sentence that before they committed that offense they were wanted for another. The good thing, cases don’t expire,” the officer said.
At some police stations, very old pictures of wanted persons could be seen hanging on the notice boards. Even then, few officers at the stations could tell why the suspects are wanted due to lack of a wanted person database.
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirms the absence of a centralized database for wanted suspects. He however, says they have developed a Criminal Record Management System, which is already being tried in Kampala Metropolitan Policing area before it is rolled out to all police stations.
Contrary to Enanga’s claims no police station has begun using the said system. Apparently, the system is only functional at the CID headquarters. Police stations are still hesitant to make use of it. Some detectives complain of lack of computers while other are still stuck with the traditional system and prefer to use hard files.
Officers in charge Criminal Investigations at the various stations visited by URN have a secretary with a computer, which is supposed to be used to keep the records and progress of the cases. On how police is handling the issue of wanted persons, Enanga says they are using several avenues such as WhatsApp groups to share information.