NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8 – The number of police officers in the country is partly to blame for the spiralling insecurity according to accountants and business advisors, PKF.
The analysts say Kenya needs a minimum number of 95,000 police officers against the current 50,000 officers in order to meet the one police for every 450 citizen’s ratio, as recommended by the UN standards.
The audit firm partner Michael Mburugu while noting terror as the main threat to security says there is need to amend the Constitution to balance between the rights of people accused of terrorism with those of the victims.
“There is a lot of leakage in Government spending but there is enough money to employ the promise,” he observed.
He said the police force should also be better equipped, “motivation, housing and sufficient medical cover.”
Similar sentiments have been raised by President Uhuru Kenyatta, especifically after Garissa University College terror attack that claimed 148 lives among them 142 students.
“We as a country have suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel. Kenya badly needs additional officers…,” he said on April 2.
Mburugu is calling on Government to speedily develop a positive narrative and amnesty to counter radicalization in collaboration with faith based leaders and civil society groups.
“To deal with the rising threat of home-grown terrorism, the fight against radicalization has to be prioritized. The government should initiate a well-coordinated anti-radicalization program to reverse the situation,” he said.
The Government intends to spend Sh25 billion in enhancing the capacity of the security sector which include massive investment in technology.
The National Police Service lost 2,930 officers in 2013-2014 despite the escalating cases of crime in the country, according to the latest economic survey released.
The survey further indicated 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.
Last year’s police recruitment was nullified after it was marred with cases of irregularities after rights 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 in April.
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 North-Eastern part of Kenya.