In Mbarara leaders of the Ankole region have expressed worry as Rwizi regional police register more than 400 house break-ins in the last six months.
The region has in all registered another 6,728 cases that include 132 homicide cases or murders, 397 cases of cattle theft, and 550 cases of domestic violence.
The statistics were drawn from the districts of Mbarara, Isingiro, Rwampara, Ntungamo, Kiruhura, Kazo and Ibanda that form the region.
The leaders worry comes at a time when the country is grappling with increasing crime and insecurity as murders and thefts are being registered every day and video clips circulating on social media.
The Rwizi regional police have for the last three years been ranked second in the annual police crime reports.
The leaders now blame the increased crime on redundancy and unemployment among the youth who also use narcotic drugs and capitalise on sloppiness of the police.
Fred Kasekende, the secretary of defence Lugazi cell, Kakoba ward, Mbarara City South division attributes the increasing crime to landlords who have fences and don’t want local leaders to enter them and the very landlords connive with their tenants who are thieves.
Eddy Kayemba Katerega, the LC1 chairperson Upper cell, Nyamityobora ward says the increased population among the youth creates unemployment.
He says the Local Council system has lost its powers to operate as it used to do when it had just started in the 1980s.
Proscovia Kagwisagye, LC1 chairperson Lugazi cell blames the increase of crimes especially house break-ins in her area on drug abuse and operations of bars that open in the morning and others that never close.
Tumwesigye Milton, former Masha sub county LCIII and chairperson of the Security Committee faults the Local Council chairpersons for failing in their responsibilities noting that the chairpersons were charged with registering residents and visitors which they have since forgotten. He says this register should be shared with the police.
However, Alone Turahi, the Isingiro LCV district chairperson notes that there has been laxity of both the people and the chairpersons noting that it is the responsibility of everyone to have themselves and their long-stay visitors registered to the local leadership.
Didas Tabaaro, the Mbarara district LCV chairperson says some LC1s have aided in the crime increase noting that they signed cattle transfer letters well knowing that the cattle are stolen but he is quick to add that the judicial system needs to revise its system of releasing suspects.
Like Kateregga, the LC1s want the government to render their full support by working with police and landlords to reawaken the mandatory registration of residents as a move to minimize crime.
Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi region police spokesperson confirms that there is an increase in crime but says it is a sign that the community has trust in the police since they accept to report.
He says as police, they have started community dialogues where they are asking local leaders for support when they carry out any patrols instead of doing them alone, and to residents to install cameras and hire private security.