Reform not an option, Boinnet tells officers

The IG says the police service will focus on improving the relationship of officers internally, relationship with other security agencies and the citizens.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has urged his officers to change their attitude and offer services to the people with utmost respect.

He says there is need for police officers of all ranks to embrace total reforms and to be able to move with current times.

To achieve this, the IG says the police service will focus on improving the relationship of officers internally, relationship with other security agencies and the citizens.

“We first want our own officers to understand the changed circumstances in which we are doing policing,” he explained saying this will lead to a people-centred National Police Service.

“We will also be engaging in outreach so that we can communicate to the public that we are eager to provide police services with a difference. We must be in tandem with circumstances of 21st century Kenya.”

The police chief who was addressing senior officers attending a sensitization workshop on reforms said that it is the only way to win back lost confidence from the public.

“The reform agenda is irreversible,” he stated.

He cautioned that any police officer who has not reformed to align themselves with the new Constitution, has no place in modern day Kenya.

Police officers found to have engaged in corrupt activities, the Inspector General warned will “instantly lose their jobs.”

Among key issues set to be addressed include restoring public confidence through “understanding of each other. We want the public to understand what we do as we also understand what they expect from us.”

Boinnet also wants police units to always work in harmony in fighting crime in the country noting that lack of harmonious work relations amongst senior officers is greatly hampering work in various departments of the police.

“We want them (officers) to know the absolute imperative of changing the way we do policing in the country,” he stated.

He noted that with the emerging security threats like terrorism, there was need for every member of the National Police Service “to work together. We want to change the way we do business.”

In previous incidences where the country had been attacked by terrorists, cracks within the police service have been blamed on the loopholes often noted.

This programme, he said will also help in boosting police-public relations once “a people centred police service is achieved.”

Some of the issues raised during the session by senior police officers include how to engage with a public which “no longer respects the police service.”

Officers also sought to know how they are supposed to act during various incidences to avoid infringing on other people’s rights.

Responding to their concerns, Boinnet insisted that police have to follow the law while acting but noted such move needs to be guided by necessity, legality and accountability.

He however insisted that he will not shy away from defending any officer accused wrongly of infringing on people’s right.

Cases of police being attacked in the country have been on increase but the police boss says the public and the police service have to come to a common understanding.