NAIROBI, Kenya, July 9 – A new report dubbed “Communities and their police stations” by civil society group Usalama Watch Forum states that police stations lack quality services due to lack of funds.
The report further shows that many of the country police stations are understaffed which negatively affects service delivery.
The report recommends that Officers Commanding Stations (OCS) should be allowed to formulate budgets according to security challenges faced in his area.
The forum lead consultant, Charles Otieno said the government needs to undertake a thorough review for all police stations to determine whether they are fit.
“We must now begin to look at how we can ensure that all our police stations in the country have the resources that they require. This will be very difficult work for us because we have to make a case as to why an OCS needs to have his own budget,” he said.
He says many stations are hampered by lack of space and outdated interior planning, while others lack basic facilities.
He added that: “Police stations probably need to consider how we will classify them in future so that we can know what type of a police station will be appropriate for a certain place.”
Other than lack of fuel, the report indicates how police officers work under challenging situations due to lack of resources and funds.
In this year financial year, the government allocated Sh62.2 billion for policing services, Sh71.3 billion for the Kenya Defence Forces and Sh17.4 billion for the National Security Intelligence.
Currently there are 456 police stations, 241 police posts and 397 police patrols bases in Kenya.
The Rift Valley region has 40 police divisions and 120 police stations while North Eastern has the lowest with nine police divisions and 26 police stations.
During the research, it was discovered that “police lacked the right tools and equipment for the job. It was observed that OCS’s and other officers used their personal phones to interact with members of the public.”
“In other stations we observed that the police lacked protective clothing. Officers attended scenes of crime or accident without basic facilities such as hand gloves and securing tape for sealing the scenes to prevent tampering with evidence.”
The report further indicates that most police stations do not have enough vehicles for policing work which inhibited operations.
“It was observed that where the vehicles were available, they lacked appropriate maintenance and many of them were broken down,” Otieno pointed out.
Last year, the government leased 1,200 police vehicles while in this year financial year the government will spend Sh6.7 billion to lease 2,700 motor vehicles and aircraft.
To enhance police operations, the government will use Sh3.3 billion and Sh3.5 billion for upgrade of police equipment and modernisation.
The National Police Service has also been allocated Sh1.3 billion to cater for police housing.
The report also revealed that, “some police officers work long hours (between 12 and 16 hours) any single day. Officers are on call round the clock, regardless of their shift. In some stations, officers had barely four hours for their daily break.”