Insecurity: Lecturer discourages arming of guards

July 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 16 – With the increasing insecurity in the country, the issue of arming security guards to reduce insecurity is the subject of many debates but is being frowned upon by most Kenyans.

A lecturer at the University of Nairobi (UON) Ken Ouko stated on Wednesday that arming watchmen would aggravate the security situation further.

 “It is dangerous to give more people guns whether they are in the security forces or not because for example, the watchmen are the most frustrated lot of people,” he cautioned.

“The minute you give them guns, life gets worse because then they are saying that when they are not on duty they could actually just toy around with the gun,” Mr Ouko explained.

“If it is a professional unit like G-4S and they are well trained in the use of weaponry, then yes, it makes more sense.” 

He was speaking during an exclusive interview with Capital Newsbeat where he urged Kenyans to be alert to their surroundings when undertaking business transactions, particularly at financial institutions.

He stressed that this enables one to be aware of anyone trailing them thereby reducing cases of muggings.

 “You must always look over your shoulder and get to see if you are being trailed because that is one of the things that is coming up in Kenya, these days they trail you, they know when you go into  a bank and also if you walk out,” he emphasized.

“Always try to master your surroundings. If there are any suspicious looking people retreat back into the bank or into the office where you were,” he said.

“Try to disarm the thugs by talking to them. Say hallo to them this will actually throw them off balance,” he further advised.

Mr Ouko called on Kenyans to always remain calm when carjacked or are caught up in similar situations.

He stated that staying composed under such circumstances can go a long way in reducing the impact of the ordeal.

He stressed the need for especially women to establish a rapport with the assailants in a bid to soften them.

 “Sometimes they tell you that after they finish with the money bit, they are going to work on you  and the mistake you make is to start saying ‘Over my dead body’ then you antagonise them,” he said.

 He said that in most cases, criminals are always willing to talk with their victims.

“Half the time they are willing to talk and they will engage you in conversation and   once you have that conversation with them they get a bit softer,” he said.

He however urged everyone to take all necessary precautions especially when going about their daily activities.
“The best thing mentally is to just remain optimistic. You work with fate and destiny and assume that this is my town and I am going to live in it forever.”  


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