The United Nations Women office in Kampala has handed over forensic equipment worth Shillings 750 million to Uganda police force to aid in investigating cases of gender based violence.
Adekemi Ndieli, the head of UN Women office says they have come out to support the Police with the forensic equipment because there are high levels of violence experienced by women and girls in the country.
The equipment that was handed over to Assistant Inspector General of Police –AIGP Asan Kasingye who represented the Inspector General of Police IGP Martin Ochola, includes three customized evidence collection vans, 18 Scene of Crime Officers –SOCOs’ kits, 18 SOCO cameras, DNA consumables, three configured containers and three audio visual recording devices.
Ndieli said much as police have attempted to address cases of GBV in the country, a lot still needs to be done particularly in areas of reporting, protection, investigation and provision of survivor- centred GBV case management services as well as securing full accountability for such crimes.
“The prevailing transportation constraints significantly affect service delivery initiatives such as arrest of perpetrators, evidence collection and handling, investigations and accessing victims for rapid response in GBV cases. These challenges make it extremely difficult to provide full protection for victims and to bring the perpetrator to book,” says Ndieli.
In his remarks, AIGP Kasingye said UN Women donation of forensic equipment is timely and will enhance crime scene investigations through proper processing of the crime scene and timely collection and transportation of evidence.
“I assure you that these donations will be put to good use and for purposes for which they were donated for. The DNA consumables have enabled us process 56 cases and a total of 500 sample specimens in SGBV related cases received at directorate of forensic services for DNA analysis,” says AIGP Kasingye.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Lilian Mutesi, who is also a forensic analyst, explained that the SOCO kits include different kinds of powder used to pick finger prints, brushes that aid in picking fingerprints, a special formula used in processing fingerprints from crime scenes, and packaging materials for other kinds of evidence like phones. Other kits include; magnifying glasses which enable SOCOs view the fingerprints.
The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) records of 2020 show that 16,257 people were victims of sex related crimes. Of these, 14,320 were female juveniles, 202 were male juveniles and 1,632 were female adults and 103 were males.
The Police force launched the directorate of forensic science in January 2021 and its acting director is SP Andrew Mubiru.