What you need to know:
- The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, said the crime statistics last year were greatly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the subsequent lockdown of some sectors.
Theft has maintained as the leading offence committed in Uganda with 41,950 cases contributing 21.4 per cent of all crimes registered in 2020.
Theft was also the leading offence in 2019 with 55,704 cases.
According the Annual Crime and Traffic Safety Report 2020, theft cases were mainly motivated by economic gains.
By December, 16,421 cases were taken to court, 5,257 cases secured convictions, 101 were acquitted, 1,176 were dismissed and 9,886 cases were still pending in court while 14,825 were still under inquiry.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, said the crime statistics last year were greatly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the subsequent lockdown of some sectors.
Mr Ochola said anti-crime infrastructure, such as the CCTV cameras, community cooperation, the continuous sensitisation and electioneering period were key in the increase or decrease of offences.
Common assault came second among the leading crimes with 24,799 cases. Even last year, common offence was in the same position, but with 32,895 cases.
The director of criminal investigations, Ms Grace Akullo, said the perennial 10 leading offences volume reduced last year due to the lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus.
“Most of these leading cases such as common assault and theft are committed by people after drinking alcohol and drugs in bars. The lockdown enforcement curbed the committal of such crimes,” Ms Akullo said.
However, the lockdown is suspected to have caused problems in many homes that domestic violence and sex-related offences increased.
Domestic violence was registered as the third most committed crime with 17,664 cases in 2020 up from 13,639 cases in 2019.
It was followed by sex-related offences in the fourth position.
Ms Akullo said the sex-related offence increased in 2020 to 16,144 cases from 15,638 cases in 2019 because many school-going children were studying at home and they were taken advantage of by sex predators.
Threatening violence that was in the seventh position in 2019 jumped to the fifth place displacing the offences of breaking-ins and economic crimes. At least 10,844 incidents were registered compared to 11,592 recorded in 2019.
There was a reduction in the volume of cases registered in breaking-ins and economic offences that were in the sixth and seventh positions in 2020.
The police attributed the reduction of volumes of the economic-related offences to government’s investment in anti-crime infrastructure.
“Government investment in anti–crime infrastructure such as the CCTV installation, establishment of modern forensic laboratory, reviving of 999 system, fingerprinting of guns, reforming the flying squad unit, response to crime reports/scenes and recruitment of local defence units has reduced crime,” she said.
Child-related offences, criminal trespass and malicious damage to property took the eighth, ninth and tenth positions respectively.
The top ten crimes that police registered in 2020 are theft, common assault, domestic violence, sex related offences, threatening violence, and breaking-ins. The others are economic crimes, child-related offences, criminal trespass and malicious damage of property.