Kenya plans to embark on police reforms to improve the country’s security, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, told a security forum in Nairobi that a caucus composed state and non-state actors has been put in place to identify areas of police reforms.
“The police reforms aim to improve the relationship between police and community in order to ensure overall improved national security,” Matiang’i said during the National Policing Conference.
The reforms will ensure that all security agencies work in a coordinated manner and avoid duplication of efforts, Matiang’i said.
He noted that the new constitution had enhanced the rights and responsibilities of citizens, hence the need for the police service to change the way it relates with the public.
The government has realised that crime levels will only be reduced if local communities are fully involved in security matters, Matiang’i said.
Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, said the levels of internal and external threats faced by the country are increasing.
The government plans to improve the welfare of the police, Kibicho said.
“The working conditions of security forces will be improved by ensuring that they are better equipped to combat criminal elements in society,” he said.
Kibicho said the police reforms were being prioritised because economic development will not be possible without adequate security.
Joseph Boinnet, Inspector-General of National Police Service, said that his internal affairs department would be strengthened to deal with cases of police indiscipline.
A new framework will also be created to ensure meritocracy prevails so that junior officers can rise up the ranks of the police service, he said.