KAMPALA: Police have returned the Flying Squad Unit three months after it was disbanded because of mounting allegations of gross misconduct and torture of suspects by its operatives.
According to police, the Unit has returned with newly trained personnel and will now be based under the Directorate of Crime Intelligence.
“A total of 120 personnel of the Flying Squad Unit have been redeployed, after their successful completion of a three months course, in countering gang violence and sophisticated crimes at the Police Training School in Kabalye,” Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said at a press conference in Kampala on Monday, 15 November 2021.
He said the elite police tactical unit is now based at the Directorate of Crime Intelligence, and will continue with their mandate of targeting, disrupting and dismantling, organized and violent crime groups and individuals who pose high risks to public safety and security.
“All violent suspects arrested will be handed over to CID, for further investigations and prosecution,” Enanga explained.
He said that the new members of the Unit have been assigned to the traditional policing regions and along major routes and highways, to support the territorial teams in solving violent crimes, providing backups, promptly responding to emergency calls, countering armed criminals, car jackings, aggravated robberies, cash-in thefts, smuggling and trafficking among others.
“Their deployment is intelligence driven and timely as we head into the festive season. And their primary goal, is to dismantle all criminal gangs, arrest suspects, seize firearms and recover all assets used in promoting gang crime,” Enanga said.
“The Directorate of Crime Intelligence, will coordinate the operations of the unit, in a proactive and sustained manner. We ask the public to report all gun and crime related activity to the flying squad on telephone contact 0709023710/0711042384,” he added.
In August 2021, Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola dissolved the Flying Squad Unit.
Ochola first disbanded the unit in his third month as IGP after taking over office from Gen Kale Kayihura in March 2018. At the time, the unit under the leadership of the assistant commissioner of police, Herbert Muhangi had become infamous for participating in the reported torture of suspects. Ochola reversed the decision on the advice of the policy advisory committee (PAC) on the vital role Flying Squad was playing in dealing with gun-related violence,