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Police on high alert, despite warnings of security lapses by hotels and bars

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Police on high alert, despite warnings of security lapses by hotels and bars

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga

Uganda Police Force has stepped up its alertness, markets, pubs and restaurants to enforce the minimum security requirements in those places.

The police started the security check-ups at hotels and bars in the week leading to the World Cup and closed hundreds of them. And, Enanga adds, the checks went beyond ordinary meaning of preparedness to include level of ventilation to ensuring that bar/hotel workers had no criminal record.

He said while many restaurants tried to put in place the basic security requirements such as metal detectors, subsequent check ups have revealed some lapses in upholding the minimum security alertness in restaurants and sports watching venues.

“In the beginning they showed us that they were ok, but yesterday our team moved around and found that some had relaxed. Most of the security guards don’t have the basics on counter terrorism,”said Enanga.

Enanga however reiterated the police’s readiness to continue to train private security guards as well as the general public in anti-terrorism skills.

New measures

As part of the efforts to counter the threat of terrorism, the police has told hotels and bars to cause the arrest of anyone who enters or attempts to enter their premises with a fire arm.

The police has also strengthened its community police efforts by launching joint operations with village or town leaders to ensure that no criminal takes advantage of people’s movements at night to undermine the security of an area.

“At the individual level, we’ve asked people to inform neighbours when moving out or use passwords they can use while returning home.”

He further advised people to remain cautious especially about any abandoned items.

“People need to be extremely cautious about the places they work in. We are emphasizing cleanliness because rubbish cans and untidy places can be used as bomb shelters.

Despite the apparent high level of alertness by the security forces, many places in Kampala such congested markets like Owino, Taxi parks and even schools remain vulnerable. Measures to ensure that entrants into such places is often frustrated by the growing culture among the public of resisting security checks.

In addition, the movement of luggage and agricultural produce to and from the markets and taxi parks has proved a challenge for security personnel.

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