16 March 2011

Kenya: Police Reshuffle a Strategy to Fight Crime in Hotspots

Nairobi — The recent police reshuffle has seen more officers in the senior ranks sent to central Kenya.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere's decision is seen as a shot in the arm in the war against crime as the region has a high crime rate.

With a general election approaching, sending more officers to the area is a strategy to contain insecurity in the area.

In the changes that have seen more officers sent to insecurity hotspots in Central, parts of lower and upper Eastern regions, police divisions that have previously been operating without deputy OCPDs now have additional officers.

In Central, deputy OCPDs have been sent to Nyeri South, Mathira East, Gatundu, Kirinyaga, Kigumo and Lari.

Neighbouring Eastern Province stations that have benefited include Imenti Central, Meru Central, Meru South, Embu, Buuri and Meru North.

More than 50 of the 121 changes made were centred in the two regions.

A new police boss has been sent to Imenti North, which has recently recorded an increase in cattle rustling and violent clashes over water and pasture between sedentary communities and migrant pastoralists.

The reshuffle also saw security beefed up in the volatile Upper Eastern region, where an influx of illegal Ethiopian immigrants and suspected Oromo Liberation Front rebels has in the recent past caused a security scare.

New police divisions in the area that were previously without deputy OCPDs, now have new officers.

Mungiki stronghold

They include Samburu North, Marsabit South, Garbatulla and Samburu East. Samburu and Marsabit police divisions also have new heads of police.

The changes are to take immediate effect. Murang'a South and Thika, which are regarded as Mungiki hotspots, have new CID bosses.

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