Police arrest 100 in city swoop

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By Andrew Bagala

Posted  Wednesday, December 18  2013 at  00:00

Police have carried out an operation to rid the central business district of Kampala of suspected rogues and vagabonds whom they say have been attacking people at night.

At least 100 individuals were detained in the swoop and are being held at Kampala Central Police Station on charges of being rogues and vagabonds.

Police spokesperson, Ms Judith Nabakooba, said the suspects were snatching valuables from unsuspecting people going about their business during the festive season.

“Often criminals in urban areas take advantage of this season, especially at night, to attack people carrying valuables. Our operations are intended to show presence in all dark spots. We don’t want to give armed thugs any room in Kampala to operate,” Ms Nabakooba said.

The operation comes days after a shocking incident when suspected thugs killed a man right in front of Kampala Metropolitan Police headquarters at night and police officers deployed there did not notice.

Ms Nabakooba said the operation was carried out around Clock Tower area on Entebbe Road, Ben Kiwanuka Street, Luwum Street and Kampala Road. “We recovered dozens of stolen mobile phones, necklaces, ATM cards and bags from the suspects,” she said.

Snatching of bags and other valuables from people, especially during traffic jams, along Entebbe Road and Namirembe Road has reached worrying levels. Police say the areas are infested with criminals who spend the day gambling and cause havoc at night.

Some of the suspects claimed that they were innocent, but Ms Nabakooba said screening is still ongoing to determine the innocence or otherwise of an individual.