, GILGIL, Kenya, Jun 26 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged the police force to live up to the challenges of sophisticated crime that have been compounded by modern technology and globalisation.
President Kibaki who made the remarks during the 50th passing out parade for the Administration Police Recruits at the NYS Training College Gilgil, said that the country currently faced various security challenges that increasingly require a more specialized and better equipped police force to tackle.
The Head of State however assured that his government was aware of the challenges and was putting in place requisite measures to forestall any risks to the nation’s stability and welfare of its citizens.
The President said: "My government is fully aware of these challenges and will continue to put in place measures to position our security forces to adequately serve wananchi."
President Kibaki reaffirmed the government’s commitment to attain a modern police force by instituting necessary reforms as demonstrated by the establishment of a task force under the Chairmanship of a retired High Court Judge, Phillip Ransley and called upon Kenyans to submit their views.
The President observed that the collated views will recommend the best way to reform the police force in order to equip it with modern facilities and make it more accountable while serving the Kenyans.
He said, "Since it is our collective desire to have a reformed, modern police force, I want to urge Kenyans to support the work of the task force by giving their views and recommendations so that that the commission’s final recommendations will reflect the collective opinion of our people."
The President hailed the community policing policy which was launched four years ago for bearing fruits and urged Kenyans to continue partnering with law enforcements agents to eradicate insecurity in all parts of the country.
He noted that as a commitment to ensure the success of the community policing policy the Government has tremendously increased the funding for the initiative in this year’s budget to get more members of the public participate in community policing responsibilities.
President Kibaki noted, "I am also aware that the unique composition and deployment of Administration Police to the grass roots has largely contributed to the success of this initiative. The government will continue to support such community initiatives to complement the work of our police."
The Head of State further observed that the security situation in some neighbouring countries is still unstable and poses challenges in terms of proliferation of illicit arms, aliens and contraband goods to the country.
The President reaffirmed Kenya’s continued commitment to lead peace initiatives aimed at stabilizing regional security.
"For our country to remain safe, we will need to diversify our approaches and get more involved in regional security initiatives to assist our neighbouring states, especially Somalia, achieve stability. We will also need to adapt new technologies even as we pursue new opportunities through partnerships with our friends from the rest of the world," said the Head of State.
The said that the Government was aware that the high levels of unemployment, particularly among the youth may be a contributing factor to high incidences of crime but added that long term measures have been instituted to remedy the situation through the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme.
He also urged Kenyans to uphold the doctrine of hard work and respect the sanctity of life and partner with the Government in eradicating crime and other antisocial activities.
The President said, "To address some of these causes, the Government recently launched the "Kazi kwa Vijana" programme which is being implemented across all sectors."
Other measures instituted to address insecurity in long term include the establishment of the Youth Enterprise Fund, the Women Enterprise Fund and the immensely increased Constituency Development Fund to reach disadvantaged members of the society.
The President said, "I am confident that these efforts will translate into increased opportunities for productive engagement for many of our enterprising citizens who want to earn an honest living."
President Kibaki further challenged all leaders and peace loving Kenyans to condemn the few individuals who engage in criminal tendencies terming the acts intolerable in modern society.
"Let me reiterate that it is foolhardy for anybody to imagine that he or she can live on the sweat of others. As I have said before, we must not only respect the sanctity of life; we must also embrace the doctrine of hard work. Government will not waver in the war against crime and other anti-social activities," said the President.
The Head of State congratulated the 3559 graduands, for their commitment and hard work which had enabled them complete the demanding training and challenged them to utilise the knowledge and skills acquired in service of wananchi and the country.
"Indeed, the people whom you are going out to serve are increasingly more enlightened and will expect you to discharge your duties competently and in an impartial manner. This requires that you exercise diligence, uphold high standards of professionalism and live up to the oath of allegiance you have sworn here today."
President Kibaki said, "I call upon you with honour and dignity, to always uphold the values of integrity and human dignity in order to win the public trust at your place of duty."
He also commended the Administration Police fraternity led by the Commandant for the role they continue to play in national development, especially in taking government services to the grassroots and ensuring peace, order and security for the Kenyan people.
The President noted that police are charged with a great responsibility because security forms the foundation of the country’s social, economic and political progress called on the officers to undertake their responsibilities with dedication and patriotism.
Addressing the same occasion Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti said the passing out parade had the largest number of graduating officers in the country’s history since independence.
Prof Saitoti said the successful training of such a large group of police officers was aimed at achieving the recommended United Nations police-citizen ratio of 1:450
He noted that several bills have lined up for tabling in Parliament for enactment into law to combat sophisticated criminal activities as well as emerging security challenges such the organized criminal gangs.
AP Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua said that the Administration Police was committed to remain the leading community security service provider in the country.
Outstanding recruits were awarded prizes for excelling in various fields of their training during the nine month period.