Curb rising crime within police ranks

Friday, June 7th, 2024 06:05 | By
An illustration of a police crime scene. PHOTO/Pexels.
An illustration of a police crime scene. PHOTO/Pexels.

The arrest of eight police officers across the country in connection with various offences, including the theft of Sh2.2 million, could be a clear testament to falling standards in the National Police Service.

Despite the gains made since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution, recent incidents and cases could be a pointer to the return of the rot that once stained Kenyan police officers.

Though we should not point fingers at individuals, Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Mohamed Amin cannot escape blame for the numerous incidents of excessive use of force, torture, verbal abuse, dishonesty, abuse of authority, bribery and theft, among other forms of indiscipline, that are creeping back into the service.

The National Police Service Commission is also in for some flak over its hands-off approach and failure to execute its constitutional mandate to exercise disciplinary control over the service.

Within a span of 12 hours, eight police officers were involved in various cases bordering on indiscipline, highlighting the need for urgent remedial measures.

Between Wednesday afternoon and yesterday morning, three officers were arrested in Nairobi’s Karasani area and another in Ruai after being linked to the theft of Sh 2.2 million. Two others were arrested in Capitol Hill and another at the Parliament police station over extortion. Another officer was arrested in Kibwezi in connection with the theft of 522 bags of rice.

Those in the know say the Kasarani incident is not an isolated one. Chilling details are now emerging on how some rogue DCI officers collude with criminals to stage robberies at M-Pesa shops and other places and share the loot later.

The most targeted people are those who have withdrawn cash from banks, who are then trailed, at times by the officers themselves, before they are attacked.

Demand for bribes by Traffic Police officers has also risen. Motorists are harassed by money-hungry traffic corps out to frame them on flimsy offences in a bid to squeeze money out of them.

The rot in the police service is the result of multiple factors, such as ethnicity, favouritism and corruption in promotions and unfair transfers that the commission, Koome and Amin seem to abet.

The police bosses must take responsibility for what their juniors are doing.

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