Police reforms on course as OB now goes online

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i greets senior police officers during the launch of the digital OB at Buru Buru Police Station. Photo/PD/PhILIP KAMAKYA

Members of the public in Nairobi will not have to physically visit police stations to make their reports, but can now report to any officers on patrol.

Police commanders will also be able to monitor activities in various police stations at the touch of a button following the digitisation of most of police operations.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday launched the digital Occurrence Book (OB) at the Buru Buru Police Station, which is expected to be rolled out in all stations across the country.

The launch  follows the unveiling of the Digital Human Resource Information System (DHRIS), which incorporates the administrative procedures, the OB and the Crime Management System.

Officers have been issued with 10,181 tablets and 210 desktop computers.

The officers will make reports that will be reflected at the station and the commanders will be able to see all the reports and give directions.

Similar moves

The launch follows two other similar initiatives by the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

On July 1, 2020, the Judiciary launched the e-filing system. A week later, a total of 284 cases had been filed in Nairobi courts through the system and over Sh3.84 million collected as court fees, fines and bails.

Come July 28, 2020, ODPP launched the electronic case management system to ease the process of filing and prosecuting cases.

Following the launch, physical interaction is expected to be minimal as reportees will not have to physically visit stations, especially during this period when the country is fighting Covid-19.

Matiangi said it would now be easy to obtain instant information, for example, on the nature of prevailing crimes in different locations in the country.

It would also ease efficient collection of data that can be accessed instantly for the formulation of effective strategies to rapidly respond to incidents.

Matiangi said the system would also enable wananchi to track the progress of their complaints, adding that corruption and delays occasioned by missing files will be a thing of the past following the digitisation.

“There is an animal called file that has been a cause of misery to most Kenyans.

We have begun the final funeral of this unknown mysterious animal,” he said.

Mataiang’i revealed that members of the public would be able to pay instant fines through mobile money services, a move that would ensure efficiency and reduce corruption.

He said some rogue officers were deliberately inconveniencing members of the public in order to be bribed.

“The President has directed that we move to implement the instant fine. It must happen,” added Matiang’i.

Police headquarters will now be able to get a true picture of the security situation and crime trends across the country, as the information once entered cannot be edited or erased. 

Police crime statistics have not been reliable as most commanders under-report for the fear of being reprimanded.

“We will be able to see the more prevalent crimes in various station areas from the system,” said Matiang’i. 

The system is also expected to eradicate ghost workers and ensure that officers do not overstay in stations. 

“Officers who have been transferred and fail to report to their new stations will not be able to make any report.

Any report made will go to his new station,” said Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai.

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