, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has defended police performance in handling security issues in the country despite a series of attacks targeting security personnel and civilians in recent days.
Kimaiyo refuted claims that newly recruited officers were being sent to treacherous areas which made them prone to attacks, saying they work in coordination with experienced officers.
The Inspector General of Police who visited three officers admitted to the Nairobi West Hospital after surviving the weekend attack in Kapedo, said police were working on a well outlined security plan across the country and there was no confusion as claimed by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).
Twenty one policemen were killed in the Kapedo attack alone.
“We are going to enforce the presidential directive (on disarmament) to ensure no person is illegally having a firearm,” he stated. “Our police officers are committed to ensure all areas are calm.”
IPOA has accused the police of failing to have a proper police structure and lack of adequate preparedness while undertaking various security operations.
Kimaiyo however says one incident is not enough to accuse the National Police Service of failure, saying security forces were on high alert around the clock to ensure peace prevails.
“Police officers have worked diligently…you cannot say just because one incident has happened that our officers are not working,” he said.
Kimaiyo said security should be a personal responsibility for all Kenyans “by sharing information that may help avert any case of insecurity to police.”
“We need to work together…no one celebrates when the other person is killed or harmed.”
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority had on Monday called for the immediate overhaul of the National Police Service command structure, saying it is the main cause of poor response to insecurity.
The authority’s chairman Macharia Njeru says the recent killing of security personnel and civilians by ragtag militia was 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.”
Njeru also urged 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.
“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.”