Police reforms credited for drop in crime incidents
There are reduced cases of insecurity incidents following the restructuring of the National Police Service that began a year ago.
The National Police Service director of Communication Charles Owino has attributed lack of conflicts and overlapping mandates where police units focus on their core mandates for the improved security. Owino, however, said the reforms, being a process, are still ongoing.
The Administration Police Service (APS), for instance, was now completely specialised and focusing on its core mandate including border patrols, guarding critical infrastructure and dealing with stock theft.
“During this period, the Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai has also gazetted more police stations, bringing service closer to the people,” Owino said.
“The service has realigned the stations across the country for effective policing in line with the security demands,” he added.
The restructuring led to a unified force that among other things saw about 24,000 APS officers merge with their Kenya Police Service general duty officers.
More than 100 AP posts and camps have been converted into police posts.
In Nairobi alone, at least 30 of them, including Waithaka, Kawangware, Kayole, Umoja and Embakasi AP camps, have been turned into police stations.
The service has trained over 5000 officers, mostly from the AP Service to take up the new roles brought about by the restructuring.
The restructuring was also to ensure that there was a police station in all the 1,520 wards in the country under the command of Ward Commanders, formerly referred to as OCSs.
Owino added that as a result, several officers from the AP had also be appointed as regional, county, sub-county and even station commanders. The Multi-Agency Team (MAT) has also led to unified and coordinated operations resulting in reduced terror attacks in the country.
In January, for example, the Interior cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi met regional and county security committees from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties to plan on how to deal with terror threats in the region.
The restructuring process may however be affected due to financial constraints as the government focuses on the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the last financial year, the service was allocated about Sh10billion.
Under the new structure, the APS formed units include; Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Border Police Unit (BPU), APS Stock Theft Prevention Unit (APS - ASTU) and Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU). On the other hand, General Service Unit (GSU) is now a formed unit under KPS.
The structure also clearly outlines the distinct reporting functions for the Deputy Inspector General of KPS Edward Mbugua as Public Security and Safety, Deputy Inspector General APS Noor Gabow in charge Protective and Border Security.
The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, on the other hand, is in-charge of criminal investigations.