Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: More Police Officers Quitting for Better Jobs - NGO

Nairobi — A report by a Non-Governmental Organisation has revealed that most police stations in the country are in a deplorable state because they lack vital tools, including vehicles to conduct patrols. Usalama Forum Lead Researcher Charles Otieno on Thursday said that more and more officers are opting to leave the force in search of a better livelihood causing a shortage and a resultant rise in insecurity.

Ochieng noted: "Most police stations in the country are not fit for purpose and they lack the necessary facilities for efficient service delivery for the public." "Sadly, the lack of furniture in the stations has seen officers use furniture that comes in as exhibits in unresolved cases."

"Even officers that can access housing allowances are not able to afford decent housing." "Police salaries and allowances have not improved to the least acceptable standards and after 10 years of reforms the quality of life in the work place for a majority of police officers has not improved," explained Otieno.

The lead researcher was speaking during the launch of the preliminary report said that the government has failed to take into consideration the improvement of the stations as part of the reforms plan.

Otieno observed that in Northern Kenya militia groups have given residents sleepless nights, with little or no action from the police.

He attributed this to the presence of few police officers in the area and the police are outnumbered by the criminals.

"Police have not been able to reduce crime across the country effectively."

"There is no year that we have had a notable drop in the crime rate in the country since 2003."

"Police in North Eastern are very few as most of them have left the force for better opportunities to after being exposed to harsh conditions."

"In the area, majority of the civilians are armed with weapons that they secretly smuggled into the country thus they over-power the few officers that are left in the stations," he added.

The report also advised the government to stop spending money in creating taskforces in the Police Service and instead hold those in leadership accountable for the short comings in the force.

A police vetting exercise kicked off last week was also discussed with the forum raising concerns over the vetting exercise saying that, "many officers especially in the Traffic Department are openly engaging on corrupt practices as they know that they are on their way out."

"The entire force is demoralized from the anxiety of the vetting as they are unsure of their survival. This is affecting their service delivery," the report read.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku last Monday announced that 80,000 officers will undergo the process in efforts of weeding out bad practices within the Police Service.

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