Police in Hoima district has been warned against charging money from local people who need services from the institution that is supposed keep people lives and their property.
The warning was sounded by Plan Bernadette, the secretary for finance planning and economic development on 12th January 2016 during a function to handover a police beat to police that was constructed by China national Offshores Oil Company (CNOOC) at Ikamiro village, Kyangwali sub county in Hoima district.
Bernadette who represented, Hoima district LCV chairman said that, police services including police bond are free and it is a petty that some police officer are found of extorting money from their clients instead of helping them to solve their problems.
Bernadette paraded the Hoima district police commander, Barnard Akankwasa before residents instructed him to give out his telephone contacts to the residents so that he can be easily contacted in case some police officers who will be deployed at the new police beat behave unprofessionally.
The district boss urged residents not to misinform police adding that, the major challenges Hoima district is grappling with are land grabbing and domestic violence that are commonly reported to police. She also hailed CNOOC for providing Uganda Police Force with a police beat.
The district police commander, Bernard Akankwasa disclosed that, a 1.5km road from Ikamiro village through the escarpment to Buhuka at shores of Lake Albert where there is King Fisher oil pad that was constructed by CNOOC has enabled police to track criminals and do community police since the area is now easily accessible.
Akankwasa promised to deploy traffic police to curb the practice of overloading vehicles after residents complained to him that accidents have become rampant. He also requested CNOOC to construct a staff house that can accommodate like three police officer who will be deployed at the new police post.
Ekom John Stephen, the deputy RDC Hoima district who was the chief guest asked residents to own the police beat much as it has been constructed by CNOOC and also warned them against taking law in their hands whenever they have conflicts. “My appeal to local people is that, you should work closely with police to track criminals because this area is along Lake Albert that boarders Democratic Republic of Congo and to CNOOC, you should work closely with district leaders all the time since oil and gas is a very sensitive sector”, he noted.
The LC I chairperson for Ikamiro B village, Emmanuel Bigirwa revealed that, previously, people moving to and from the lake shares could be robbed of their items and money because there was no security and hoped that, with construction of a new police beat, people will be able to move without any interference.
Amina Bukenya, CNOOC’s public relations supervisor said that, construction of the police beat followed a request that was made by Uganda Police Force to improve security in the area because when construction of a road from Ikamiro to Buhuka was complete, there was influx of people in the area hence becoming a threat to security.
“Supporting Uganda Police is part of CNOOC Uganda’s policy as a good neighbor. We believe that, with the influx of people flocking the area after completion of access road, the police beat shall go a long way to guarantee security for residents”, Bukenya added.
The police beat consists of a portioned container with a holding cell and a reception area. Also constructed at the police beat is a VIP latrine with a bath shelter which will be used by police officers stationed their.