Police Warn Bar Owners: Keep Vigilant for Alcohol-Fueled Crimes or Face Closure

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The Uganda Police Force (UPF) has warned bar owners across the country and tasked them with coming up with safeguards following multiple incidents of violence, including stabbings, brawls, and hospitalisations, from drunken fights, assaults, and fights for women, or face closure.

On December 18, 2023, SCP Fred Enanga, the spokesperson for the police force, stated in a press release that there have been numerous cases of violence reported in bars.

“On December 13, 2023, at Apex bar Lyantonde, one CPL, Amanya Kenneth alias Rwamulago, attached to Revenue Enforcement, was attacked and strangled to death by one Akim, who tried to befriend his girlfriend, Kyampire Apophia. The suspect followed the victim when he moved out briefly and strangled him to death in the corridor next to the bar. He was arrested together with the cashiers, Kyomugisha Immaculate and Joshua, and detained at Lyantonde CPS,” the police spokesperson stated.

He stated that several other incidents, like the ones afore mentioned, have taken place in bars, and several people have had to be rushed to the hospital, but that unfortunately, many do not make it and succumb to their injuries.

According to Enanga, there are no safe guards provided by the proprietors and managers, allowing excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and related acts of reckless behaviour and violence.

“This time around, we are taking a keen interest in bar crimes. In the event that a crime is concealed or poorly managed, with zero guards, unqualified staff, and bouncers, which risk a customer, they will be summoned for negligence, complacence, and other related offences,” Enanga stated.

He said that police territorial commanders are also preparing a catalogue of profiled incidents at bars, which they will further use to recommend the closure or removal of operating licences.

The police urged all bar owners to have qualified stewards, staff, security, a system of reporting incidents, and training on how to deal with violent or intoxicated customers.

“If possible, have CCTV cameras in place and medical rooms for first-aid treatment,” Enanga stated.

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