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Using public data to improve policing in Uganda

The Uganda Police Force has been continuously ranked as one of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, and was identified as the most corrupt East African Region institution in the Transparency International East Africa Bribery Index. To its credit, it does have a promising legal framework, including a national information access law and law mandating discipline for police misconduct. The work now is to make those legal requirements work for the people of Uganda.

The people of Uganda deserve law enforcement agencies that are accountable and transparent. With the opportunities created by the 2006 Access to Information Act it’s possible for them to move forward by providing useful public information. There are some signs that the police are trying to make progress, principally with their publication of information about the public’s complaints. While this is a good first step, it’s insufficient. The quality and timeliness of this data must improve. In addition, police must work more effectively with the media to ensure that their information is getting out to a public which is unlikely to be able to find their information online.