, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is demanding the immediate overhaul of the National Police Service command structure, saying it is the main cause of poor response to insecurity.
IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru says the recent killing of security personnel and civilians by ragtag militia is evidence of a lack of preparedness and poor command of the police units.
IPOA recently released a report after investigating the Mpeketoni massacre, in which it sought changes in police operations.
“It is sad that we continue to lose large numbers of security personnel in the hands of criminal gangs. It however calls to question the competence of the top police command,” a visibly irritated Njeru said.
“While the facts and circumstances may vary, the attacks that the country has experienced in the last year bear a common thread in respect to police preparedness and response.”
Twenty police officers were killed by bandits in one of the worst attacks against security forces on Saturday in Kapedo, Turkana County.
This followed killings of more security personnel and civilians across the country.
Njeru is also urging the top police command to take responsibility and desist from engaging in blame games and own up and apologise to the public instead of living in denial.
The IPOA chairman further asked the police service to address the increasing incidences of insecurity, with the latest being over the weekend in Kapedo, Mombasa and Malindi.
“Successful jurisdictions have proven that effective policing requires a coherent strategy. It involves preparation of annual policing plans with identification of security challenges and priorities based on the situation obtained in different regions,” he pointed out.
“This includes mapping of hotspots. The structure of the service has to be efficient and well coordinated.”
He urged the police service to implement last month’s recommendations they made on a report over the Mpeketoni attack that also indicated confusion had marred police operation in the area.
The report released on October 6 indicted senior police officers for giving contradicting orders during the Mpeketoni attacks.
The report says juniors who were out to rescue residents were poorly coordinated because there was no clear chain of command, a problem he says still ails the police even now.
The challenge, Macharia says, also results to either poor or slow decision making on serious security issues.