Suspected phone snatchers and buyers at Kiwatule
Metropolitan Policing Area –KMP have started a data bank for over 14000
suspected stolen phones.
A team of 14
Information Communication Technology – ICT officers from Criminal Investigations
Directorate –CID headquarters at Kibuli are at the KMP headquarters at Kampala
Central Police Station –CPS to help start an electronic records
centre for all stolen phones in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts.
Charles Twine, the CID
Spokesperson confirmed to Uganda Radio Network that CID
officers were helping in setting up a records centre for stolen phones in
Kampala and neighbouring districts but declined to reveal names of officers
doing the job.
a police source said KMP has decided to have an electronic data centre for all
stolen phones because of the growing number of suspected stolen phones exhibits
in their stores.
A source said
that at least 14000 phones that were confiscated from operations against dealers of
stolen phones and those recovered from suspects have not been claimed. They are
being documented for future reference and easy access in case owners eventually
according to the source, is intended to understand the kind of phones mostly targeted
by robbers, street muggers, time when most phone thefts are registered and spots
where police would need to increase presence of covert officers.
to comment about the data bank being established, Kampala Metropolitan Police
Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, said stolen phone documentation is part of
ongoing investigations that cannot be discussed in the media.
A source privy
to what the data bank will look like said key details being picked on all the
phones picked from different CID offices of the 18 Police Divisions that make up
KMP include Mobile Equipment Identifier –MEID serial number. MEID or IMEI is a
special number use to identify a physical piece of Code Division Multiple
Access, which is a competing cell phone service technology.
include; year of manufacture, former user of
the phone and people whom the owner often contacted. Police say people report
cases of phone theft but very few bother following up. Some just buy new
phones, replace or buy new SIM Cards.
recent joint security operations where 2500 were confiscated from shops
suspects to be dealing in stolen phones, police said in all operations targeting
phone snatchers in areas of Kisenyi, Katwe, Entebbe Road, Kampala Road and at traffic
lights, owners don’t come to pick their phones.
The source said
the 14-member team records about 200 phones lost every day and this is because they
have to liaise with data picked from communications service providers and records
at Uganda Communications Commission – UCC.
The 14000 suspected stolen phones were
recovered in the last two years, according to police sources. CID records of
2018 show 6,205 cases of mobile phone thefts were reported which presented a
1 percent increase compared 6,117 of
the preceding years.
CID took 2085 suspects to court of which 730 were convicted, thirty-six
were acquitted, three hundred were dismissed for lack of evidence whereas 942
were still being heard in different courts of law.