Portal to report crime in Kenya launched

December 19, 2013 12:33 pm
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The Usalama Watch portal provides a platform where one can upload a photo or a video that can assist security officers curb an imminent security threat/FILE
The Usalama Watch portal provides a platform where one can upload a photo or a video that can assist security officers curb an imminent security threat/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – The government has now launched a new police website dubbed Usalama Watch that will act as a safe link between the members of the public and the police service in providing information.

The Usalama Watch portal provides a platform where one can upload a photo or a video that can assist security officers curb an imminent security threat.

Launching the website on Thursday at the Office of Inspector General of Police, Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph ole Lenku said this was part of the 100-day Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) for Security.

“This is one of the many RRI initiatives with regards to the use of technology,” he said.

He also noted that this will help police in providing evidence in court while prosecuting those who commit crimes.

“This will provide us with the necessary evidence through the information provided after it is verified,” he pointed out.

He said that the Usalama Watch website will also bring a participatory platform for the public in security noting that police alone cannot deliver without the support of members of the public.

He said the police will now adopt a participatory approach in dealing with security issues in the country so as to enhance how they respond to various security situations.

“We want to go through a Rapid Result Initiative that the ministry in consultation with other stakeholders has developed to make sure we address arising security issues,” he pointed out.

The initiative was launched on November 9, where major security plans were put in place to ensure the country is safe during the festive season and beyond.

He also said that the police force was going to adopt ICT in a bid to improve its service to the public.

“It is the beginning of a process where we are saying that we are going to modernise our security organs to align themselves with the new technology,” he said.

Already, an inter-agency team comprising various security organs have been formed to help in monitoring the website and to ascertain information received.

“To ascertain the truth, there is a team that will ensure all information is acted on,” he said.

The team monitoring the portal will collaborate with the recently launched community policing initiative, Nyumba Kumi.

To ensure those who provide information are not vulnerable to intimidation, the website provides an option of either identifying oneself or not.

“We want to tell Kenyans that this is a secure system,” the Interior Cabinet Secretary added.

This comes as a wider plan for the government to control the security situation in the country amidst an outcry over escalating crime rates.

A report by the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector (GJLOS) on November 14 showed crime in Kenya had become complex and has extended to sophisticated forms.

The report recommends that the country needs to embark on a re-training session for those in the sector on modern international security approaches, techniques and equipment.

The Interior Secretary said the police recruits will undergo ICT training in a bid to arm them with the necessary skills in dealing with crime.

“We have trained close to a 100 officers on this…police training schools will now adopt training in the evolving technology,” he said.

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