No more civil litigations- Police Boss
By Mariam Namakula
Uganda Police Force Management has resorted to training, sensitization and supervision as some of the policies that could help manage and minimize the risk of civil litigation against the police force
According to the Management, the policies have been induced due to increased concern in the rate of court cases filed against the police force over the years.
John Martins Okoth Ochola, Inspector General of Police, who was presiding over the opening of the police workshop at Naguru Police Headquarters, revealed that, they had instituted a number of policies and procedures to manage and minimize the risk of civil litigation against the force.
“I’m of the belief, that our police officers will only perform well when properly trained, supervised and guided to apply the right tactics and judgments in the performance of their duties without negative emotions,” Ochola noted.
Adding that, the institution had also embarked on in-service refresher training for the police officers especially for the perishable skills that were deemed necessary and could lead to law suits if neglected
He noted that work shop, organized by the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services under the theme “Understating Civil Litigation from a Police Perspective” came at no better timing. Ochola also mentioned that although it was difficult to measure preciously the nature and extent of victims’ actions against police or its administrators, there have been substantial indicators that civil litigation against the force and the subsequent effects to its personnel had increased significantly.
“Even if successfully defended, civil suits have come with a lot of consequences to the institution and to individual officers as well, these included; financial, psychological stress or even reluctance to perform policing tasks that carry a high risk for civil liability, he said
He therefore noted that the workshop was to implore all Unit Commanders to sensitize their subordinate officers to apply the well-established Police Policies, procedures, rules and tactics among other lawful practices within their profession, constitution and legal limits
The Unit Commanders were to be guided from among other legal sources including; the Uganda Constitution, The Police Act, The Criminal Procedure Code Act, The Evidence Act and The Police Standing Orders.
Ochola however, expressed his long time grievance for the continued failure of such organizers to come up with permanent solutions that would end rights violation with in the institution once and for all
“As you conduct your sensitization programs, more emphasis should be put on; Laws of Arrests, Search and Seizure, Use of Force, Firearm, Constitutionalism, In –Custody Death and Human Restraint Techniques among others,” he added
Noting that these were the main root cause of civil litigation against police force
Police has also put in place other mechanisms including; demoting, terminating the employment of; filling criminal cases among others all intended to promote discipline within the police force
Ochola also applauded government for their continued support to the workshops cautioning all participants to pay maximum attention while being trained because the force was expecting positive change and reduction of suits against the force in their respective areas of operation