NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – The number of officers in the National Police Service dropped by 7.5 percent to 39, 215 last year from 42,145 officers in 2013 according to the latest economic survey released on Wednesday.
This means the service lost 2,930 officers despite the escalating cases of crime in the country.
The survey further indicates that the number of prison officers in the country reduced marginally from 19,905 in 2013 to 19,587 in 2014.
The drop in the number of police officers was attributed to natural attrition, sackings, retirement, death in the line of duty while others left willingly.
The delayed police recruitment did little to help bridge the gap.
“The trend may change with the government initiative to employ 10,000 police officers per year,” Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru said during the release of the report.
Kenya is yet to meet the United Nations recommendation of one police officer for every 400 citizens.
Last year’s police recruitment was nullified after it was marred with cases of irregularities after right groups and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority protested the admission of the recruits.
Some 10,000 recruits have however joined respective police colleges after fresh recruitment was carried out this month.
Kenya’s last successful recruitment exercise was in 2013 when 7,000 recruits joined the service.
Notably, during this period when police numbers decreased, another report indicated that 312 people were killed in terrorism-related attacks in Kenya between 2012 and 2014.
Police said terror attacks in the 24 months also left 779 people injured, with counties bordering Somalia being the worst hit.
The year 2014 had the highest number of deaths resulting from terror attacks at 173, with Lamu County accounting for 67 deaths, while Mandera saw 64 people killed.
2015 alone, more than 200 people have been killed in terror related killings specifically in Northeastern part of Kenya.
The survey also indicated that the number of crime cases reported to the police declined by 3.4 percent to 69,376 in 2014 while the number of offenders reported to the Police declined by 3.7 percent to 78,877.
The report ironically also indicates a sharp increase of inmates from 323,414 in 2013 to 503,144 in 2014.
“The number of cases disposed off and those filed increased by 53.3 percent and 55.6 percent,” it reads.