NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – The National Police Service (NPS) lost 65 police officers in 2018 while in the line of duty, with terrorism accounting for the most deaths at 35 per cent.
Some 23 police officers were killed in terror-related incidents in Wajir and Garissa counties, along boarder with Somalia.
This is according to statistics detailed in the 2018 Annual Crime Report by the NPS.
In June last year, 8 police officers were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack, for which the Al-Shabaab terror group claimed responsibility.
A similar attack killed 12 officers this year – a period not covered by the report.
In Rift Valley region, which according to the report had the highest cases of crime reported across the country, police officers were killed after bandits laid ambush. Samburu county had the highest incidents.
During the time under review, the report reveals that 536 police officers sustained injuries while in the line of duty, mostly inflicted on them by terrorists.
The report released on Friday indicates the NPS has adopted a raft of measures to reduce such cases, among them the reorganization of the command structure.
The measures include, “reorganization of the National Police Service command structure in conformity with NPS Act 2011, and assignment of specific and distinct functions to DIG’s Kenya Police and Administration Police Service; Kenya Police Service to focus on public safety and security while the Administration Police Service to focus on protective and border security as well us combating cattle rustling and banditry.”
In 2018, cases of crime reported increased by 13 per cent, to 88,268 cases.
Rift Valley region had the highest crime recorded, followed by Eastern region while Central Kenya came third, where Kiambu County topped the list, with possession of dangerous drugs leading the list at 2,913 cases.
Nakuru which is the biggest town and business hub for the Rift Valley region and the country had 4,329 cases, the highest in region.
“National security is key if the “Big Four agenda” is to be realized. Security is one of the pillars required for long term investment and sustenance of existing ventures. There is need for a concerted effort from the Government and the citizenry to deal with any threats to National Security. Proliferation of light weapons, corruption and illicit brews among others fuel other crimes,” reads the report by the NPS.