The Police’s ICT directorate has revealed that in the past two months, they have used CCTV cameras to track and recover at least 600 vehicles involved in various crimes around the country.
In a bid to fight criminality, a total of 5,552 CCTV cameras are set to be installed in various places around the country with the Kampala Metropolitan districts of Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono taking a lion’s share with 3233 cameras on 1248 sites.
A big number of these have already been erected in various parts of the country.
Addressing journalists on Friday, ASP Allan Rugayampunzi, the Police ICT directorate spokesperson said using the automatic number plate recognition, facial recognition cctv cameras and intelligent video system, they have been able to recover vehicles, most of which had been hidden by drivers after committing crimes.
“In the last two months, the CCTV cameras have recovered over 600 vehicles involved in offences like accidents, robberies and murders among other crimes,” Rugayampunzi said.
He explained that when the national CCTV command centre gets reports of any vehicle involved in any offence, the vehicles are blacklisted using their number plates before they are tracked.
“Many drivers hide the vehicles after committing crimes but after being put in our blacklist, the vehicle is tracked and recovered the moment it returns on the road.”
The ICT directorate ‘s spokesperson hailed the recent changes in the officers manning CCTV cameras that he said have ensured success.
“The Inspect General of Police made changes in the ICT directorate and brought in new people to reenergize the unit. Consequently, ASP Steven Sande was brought as the head of the ICT directorate and this has led to many successes,” Rugayampunzi said.
He however appealed to Ugandans to always report cases to police and in case there is need for tracking suspects and vehicles, the CCTV cameras can come in handy.
“If a vehicle knocks you or another vehicle and takes off, report the matter to police so the vehicle can be tracked. We are soon integrating our CCTV with the vehicle tracking system so that even those vehicles that are dismantled and spare parts removed can be ably tracked and recovered.”
President Museveni recently hailed CCTV cameras as a game changer in improving the country’s security predicament.
“The security has improved mainly because of the technical interventions…the security services had got infiltrated by bad elements like criminals and corrupt people. Even now they are there but things are now much easier because of cameras and other technical interventions,” Museveni said in an exclusive interview with NBS Television last year.
He cited the Nagirinya incident in which a social worker was kidnapped together with her driver and later killed, saying that the CCTV cameras played a crucial role in the arrest of the suspects.
“You remember the people who killed Nagirinya were caught on camera. The fellow who had killed Nagirinya and drover her car was captured on camera and we got the whole gang. They are now inside (prison).”
According to Museveni, the criminals in the past used the loophole of under investment in technical interventions in security to terrorise the country but noted this is no longer possible.
Earlier this week, police said they ha arrested suspects related to the recent spate of murders in Masaka region from Kampala with the help of CCTV cameras.
The eight suspects who were riding on motorcycles were tracked using CCTV cameras that had captured them on their way from Masaka to Nsangi in Wakiso district from where they were arrested.
“Some of the suspects were clearly identified by the police Cameras and intercepted by the DPC Nsangi,and one motorcycle recovered,” CID spokesperson, Charles Twiine said on Thursday.