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Reorganisation: Planned police changes ‘to boost security, save money’

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Fri, July 20th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 19th 2018 at 22:23 GMT +3
Cadets and inspectors during their graduation from the Administration Police Training College in Embakasi. [File]

The National Police Service will undergo widespread changes to enable it to serve the public better.

More than 3,600 Administration Police (AP) posts in chiefs’ camps countrywide will be converted to modern police posts, as per the planned changes captured in a report under consideration by Government.

Additionally, each of the 1,520 wards nationwide will have police stations and the 290 constituencies converted into police divisions.

Duplication

To address the demand for more police officers, about half of the 47,000-strong AP force will be re-trained, equipped and redeployed to the Kenya Police. “This will address wastage and duplication of duties,” said a source aware of the plans. 

Under the proposals, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit will be under the Administration Police, joining officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit, Rural Border Patrol Unit and Security of Government Buildings.

The APs will focus on their main role of protecting the country’s strategic installations, VIP protection and border security. The AP Service has already taken over securing the main Kenya-Somalia border.

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Wastage of resources

An internal study conducted by the Inspector General’s office found that there had been wastage of resources in the provision of services by the Administration Police Service and Kenya Police Service, and a shakeup is expected to lead to the scrapping of some senior positions.

For instance, there are two commanders at all regional, county, divisional and station levels. To further complicate matters, both services have vehicles and other resources that operate in parallel.

The changes also mean every chief’s camp will become a police post fully equipped with toilets, an Occurrence Book and cells, and be run by professionals.

The proposed changes will also see the NPS adopt new standards of operation. Scattered resources will be consolidated under one command. For instance, all police vehicles in a division will be managed by the officer commanding police division.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to come up with a strategy to improve efficiency in the police service within 30 days.

The President said the Government would continue investing in the NPS to ensure it remained efficient.

Mr Kenyatta said investment in the NPS had been increased from Sh53.6 billion in 2013 to Sh97.6 billion in the 2018/2019 financial year, adding that Kenyans expected positive returns for the taxes.

“I, therefore, expect that such investment should translate into corresponding or equivalent returns on investments,” he said.

Uhuru said since 2013, the Government had strengthened the NPS by recruiting 30,000 more officers to attain the current police-to-population ratio estimated at 1:425.

CCTV surveillance

He said under the NPS modernisation plan, which has been accelerated over the last six years, the Government had continued to improve logistical and operational capabilities to ensure enhanced police mobility, CCTV surveillance of major towns, and provision of forensic facilities and better equipment.

Further, he said, the Government had continued to improve police welfare through the provision of a group life insurance cover, provision of better housing and improvement of salaries and remuneration.

Despite these successes, Uhuru said there was need to re-examine efficiency within the security system to identify and seal leakages, eliminate wastage and ensure prudent utilisation of resources.

Those in attendance included Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua and his Administration Police counterpart Noor Gabow. 

Yesterday, Police Spokesman Charles Owino said the NPS was ready for the changes as directed by the President.

“There are many planned activities to be announced by the Inspector General at the right time,” he said.


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