Government has finally kicked off the electronic number plate project as one of the ways to help fight criminality in the country as highlighted by President Museveni recently.
The Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga on Monday said that police regions through divisions and districts have been mapped out to ease the work of registering the boda bodas throughout the country.
“The exercise began two months ago as part of our security-enhancing mechanism. The measure will make it easier to police the boda boda sector given the rise in crime. It will promote public safety and accessibility, matters that are relevant to the enforcement of the legislation and environmental protection,”Enanga said.
According to police, with the help of crime intelligence officers and detectives, they have been able to identify the various stages within the police regions across the country and this, Enanga said would simplify their work.
According to Police, riders are required to present their national IDs, particulars of places of residence, particulars of the motorcycle and supporting documents.
The cyclists are also required to give details of the stages where they operate from.
“So far, 150,000 boda bodas have been registered and the response is good but no boda boda should be registered in more than one area,”Enanga said.
He, however, clarified that no boda boda will be stopped from undertaking journeys outside the areas of registration.
The registration of boda bodas is part of the 10-point strategy that President Museveni last year ordered security agencies to execute in order to deal with the rising wave of violent crime that hit the country, especially the Kampala Metropolitan Area.
The wave has seen a number of people including AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Joan Kagezi, Col.Ibrahim Abiriga, Muhammad Kirumira and Maj.Muhammad Kiggundu killed by unknown assailants.
“We shall require every motorist and motorcyclist to have electronic number plates with an electronic signal in them – to be incurred at the cost of every owner. This will enable us to know which vehicle orpiki piki (motorcycle) was in a particular area when a crime was committed,”Museveni said during the State of the Nation address in 2018.
“We need new helmets with illuminated numbers at the front and at the back. These helmets will be registered and put in the central processing systems of Police.”
Boda bodas have always been the easiest mode of getaway transport for criminals in almost all the crimes including murders committed in the past few years.
The Police director in charge of criminal investigations, AIGP Grace Akullo recently attributed the killings to increased number boda bodas in the country and advancement in technology.
“There is widespread use of boda bodas making it easy for people to commit crimes and later escape easily,”Akullo said.
However, with the installation of CCTV cameras in almost all parts of the Kampala Metropolitan Area, the registration of boda bodas and subsequent execution of the electronic number plate project will be easy.
Accordingly, it will now be easy to know which type of motorcycle was used to commit which offence through the use of CCTV cameras to track it using data got from the registration exercise.
The CCTV cameras with special features that make them able to read number plates will be much at work here that in case a crime is committed, security will just check footage for the motorcycles that were in the vicinity at that particular time and search for details of the owner, rider and stage where motorcycle can be easily got.
Security officials told this website that soon, the Ministry of Works and Transport will also roll out a program for registering afresh all motor vehicles in the country as part of the wider electronic number plate project that started with boda bodas.
To emphasize this, President Museveni last week tasked the security minister to ensure digital identification of vehicles and motorcycles moves smoothly.