Twenty police officers have been arrested on allegations of extorting money from suspects and victims during the festive season.
The officers were arrested between December 21 and 23, and they are currently detained at Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, Wakiso District.
Deputy police spokesman, Patrick Onyango said: “People, especially motorists, have been complaining of extortion from our police officers during the festive season. This time round, we decided to carry out an operation in the festive season to arrest these corrupt officers and indeed we have.”
Most of the arrested were from Kampala Metropolitan Police Area and Nakasongola and Buliisa districts. “Some officers erected illegal road blocks and they were asking for bribes from motorists, not aware that our officers from the Professional Standards Unit were monitoring them,” he said.
Two officers arrested in Mijeera on Kampala-Gulu Highway were found with Shs575,000 and 52 driving permits they had taken from motorists. “You can imagine they created an office in Mijeera Trading Centre where they were receiving the bribes,” he said. He said the officers will be charged with soliciting for bribes in the police disciplinary court.
Often officers claim they demand bribes during the festive season because they aren’t paid before the Christmas season. But recently, Public Service officials said they would pay civil servants their December salaries before the festive season to enable them have funds to prepare for holidays.
By yesterday, police officers’ salaries had been sent on their accounts. At least 7,048 complaints against police officers were registered by the PSU between January 2010 and December 2012, and the cases have been rising at average of 15 per cent annually since the unit was established in 2007.
The 2012 Annual PSU report indicate that of the 2,709 complaints were registered by the PSU, 950 were allegedly mismanaged.