World Cup: Police calls for heightened vigilance

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Police together with sister security agencies, will be undertaking foot and motorised patrols in various parts of the country during the World Cup season

As international attention turns to the 2018 FIFA World Cup that kicks off in Russia on Thursday, Uganda Police has issued a raft of safety tips to scuttle possible criminal schemes during the tournament.

Over 70 people were killed in twin bomb blasts at Kyandongo Rugby Ground and Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kampala during the 2010 FIFA World Cup final in July. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In a bid to stave off a possible repeat of the heinous terrorist attacks and commission of other forms of criminal activities, the Police is seeking to lift vigilance levels among the population.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Moses Kafeero, said the force together with sister security agencies, will be undertaking foot and motorised patrols in various parts of the country during the World Cup season.

“Take interest in the people who will be speaking continuously on phones and those ones paying little attention to the matches on the screens in the halls where matches will be showed. That is how terrorists plan attacks. The terrorists do not want anyone to know about their plans before execution,” he added.

Kafeero was addressing the press together with David Wasswa, the head of technical services in counterterrorism and Moses Ssebambulidde from the traffic and road safety directorate at Police’s headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday.

He said that the owners of the halls where matches will be screened ought to ensure that their areas have sufficient light and several exit points to facilitate the people to escape in case of fire outbreaks and other life-threatening incidents.

“It is important to have the halls fitted with fire extinguishers and the owners know where the nearby fire hydrants are located,” Kafeero stated.

Wasswa appealed to the public to report suspicious activities and people to the Police, advising people against screening World Cup matches in business premises near streets.

“It is not good for the public to gather around your businesses on the street to watch matches. They should be in halls. Do not leave children alone at home and do not give the criminals chances to attack you. The parking areas of the places where matches will be showed should also have security personnel,” he stated.

Ssebambulidde explained that operations against drunken-driving will be intensified during the tournament and cautioned soccer enthusiasts against celebrating wins in the middle of roads because the practice disrupts smooth traffic flow.

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