Ochola’s directive followed an incident in which People Power supporter, Ritah Nabukenya died in an accident along the Nakawa –Naguru road that police say was caused by a Boda Boda trying to overtake a police patrol vehicle and collided with another Boda boda.
However, People Power supporters led by their leader Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine accused Police of “deliberately” knocking a Boda Boda on which Nabukenya was traveling and demanded CCTV footage of the incident.
On Monday, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said the CCTV cameras at that exact point were not working because underground fiber cables had been interrupted by ongoing road works.
“The cameras around the whole section were not working due to disruptions in the fiber optic underground cables, following construction works along the Ntinda – Nakawa-Naguru stretch. Other failures are usually due to constant power outages in certain policing divisions, as well as the erection of banners and billboards within the corridors of CCTV camera view which grossly impacts our investigations,” Enanga said.
“You are all aware of the demand for new services, like the proliferation of internet by telecoms, utility companies like UMEME, National Water and Sewage Corporation, and other users like; KCCA, Uganda National Roads Authority, local government activities, and landlords, regularly conduct construction works.”
The police spokesperson said the Inspector General of Police had directed that all erected CCTV cameras must be working at all times to avoid a repeat of the Ritah Nabukenya scenario that portrayed the force baldy in the face of the public.
“The IGP has tasked the Directorate of ICT to regularly check CCTV system and ensure every single camera deployed is working and if not, it should be fixed immediately,” Enanga said.
He noted that police are working closely with KCCA planners responsible for city works, to adopt new technologies for construction that minimize the disruption of typical underground utility construction but also deployment of new technologies that make projects easier and prevent the need to endlessly repeat work for upgrades.
The Police spokesperson said that since their erection, CCTV cameras have greatly helped in the reduction of crime in various parts of the Kampala Metropolitan Area.
“The CCTV network is not only an important tool in solving crimes but also plays a big role in preventing them. The system has been fully operational for the last 6 months. It has been efficient and we have been using it to pacify the notorious high crime areas. Where we have registered significant reductions in cases of pickpocketing, shoplifting, and theft from motor vehicles among others,” Enanga said.
He mentioned a total of 200 cases that police have been able to solve and culprits taken to court using footage from CCTV cameras as evidence to pin them.
“They (CCTV cameras) are a smart technology which alerts operators to pre-determined people, registration numbers or incidents; they monitor public areas to detect incidents and to coordinate police responses, facilitate automated images searches, records events for use as evidence and to inform investigations, directed surveillance of suspected offenders and deteriorate of criminal activities.”
He noted, “It has, therefore, enhanced situational awareness in the city, for early detection of potential threats, as well as collect data for post-incident investigation and analysis.”