IGP camps in Gulu amid worsening insecurity

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura, has pitched camp in Gulu Municipality as he draws plans to curb an upsurge in crime in the area being committed by suspected iron bar hit men.

His visit on Wednesday follows the killing of the Gulu Municipality deputy Town Clerk John Oola by suspected iron bar hit men on Tuesday morning from Kanyagoga B village in Bar-dege Division.

The deceased had dropped off a female friend before being attacked and killed by his assailants.

Gen Kayihura yesterday morning grilled police officers at Gulu Central Police Station over laxity in security before walking for about a kilometer to the scene of crime.

The IGP was accompanied by the Gulu District Police Commander Martin Okoyo, Gulu Resident District Commissioner Capt Santos Okot Lapolo, Bar-dege Division local leaders and top police officers from the police headquarters.

At least seven people have been attacked and left with severe injuries since the month begun in Bar-dege Division alone.

Residents reassured
While addressing the residents in a mini-security meeting, Gen Kayihura apologised for the increased wave of crime but assured them [residents] that his visit will help clean Gulu Municipality of criminality.

“I want to find out who the attackers are, I want to know their motives behind the increased wave of crimes, I want to find the gaps in police and strengthen it. In the past, such attacks happened in Kitgum, I camped there and by the time I left, the situation [had] normalised,” Gen Kayihura said.

He said his visit is also to strengthen neighbourhood watch and link it to the police, arguing that neighbourhood vigilance helps to promote security within the community.

“Your security in your residence is not enough, it must be linked with neighbour hood security so that we deny these thugs the gaps which they exploit in the security system. The local leaders must also register people in their area so that they know who is who,” Gen Kayihura said.

He noted that already, the police have made great leads in arresting suspects linked to the killing of Oola, adding that they expect to find out the prime suspect.

Gen Kayihura, however, explained that the local leaders should embark on installing security lights in dark areas, arguing that most crimes have been committed in dark spots.

During the meeting, the Bar-dege Division chairperson, Mr Patrick Lumumba, however, accused judicial officials in the district for promoting insecurity by releasing suspects implicated in various crimes after they are allegedly bribed.
He said most of the suspects released end back in the community where they begin terrorising residents.

Mr Lumumba urged Gen Kayihura to delve more into criminal case mismanagement by the judicial officials so as to address the insecurity.

By press time, the IGP was still holding meetings with various heads of security organs and political leaders in the district.
Five people have so far been arrested by police in connection to the murder of Oola and are being detained at Gulu Central Police Station as investigations continue.

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