Commandant Warns Police Dog Handlers Against Charging Victims for Sniffer Services

The commandant of the police canine unit, Commissioner of Police –CP Dr Martin Mugume has warned police officers against charging people to deploy sniffer dogs to crime scenes.

Mugume in an interview with URN said nobody should be charged money even if it is fuel to transport a canine dog to a crime scene.

Mugume said whenever he goes in the field people ask whether the police dogs are for hire, meaning that they are being charged. This, he described as corruption and extortion, warning culprits that they will be arrested and charged.

“These are free services and the only duty of the public is to inform the police station,” CP Mugume said. “If anybody asks for money, he is committing a crime of extortion. They should be reported, arrested and charged.”

Members of the public have been asked to report whenever anyone asks them to pay money to access the sniffer dogs. Charging members of the public for sniffer dogs, according to Mugume, hinders the swift response to crime scenes and in turn affects investigations.

At least 8,563 cases of theft, burglary, robbery, murder and rape have been investigated using sniffer dogs in the first five months of this year. The canine dogs have led to the arrest of 6,843 suspects between January and May this year.

The cases investigated using sniffer dogs in the first five months of this year include 6,266 of theft, 256 robberies, 219 murder and 357 other crimes. So far canine dogs are deployed in 85 out of 146 districts and cities.

Mugume also explains that dogs have to be trained in the terrain they are going to serve. He said that at times they would import canine breeds from Germany, Belgium and Spain but which fail to perform in hot areas of like Karamoja.

Police reduced the costs of importing canine dogs by starting a breeding centre at Nagalama. Mugume said they have reduced the $10,000 cost of acquiring a single, trained canine to $2,000.

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