KENYANS’ UNEASY RELATIONSHIP WITH POLICE

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By Nancy Kacungira

The relationship between Kenyans and their police force hasn’t always been an easy one.

Just a week ago, the police spokesperson came out to ask Kenyans to change their perception of the police:

”There is pervading fear among the public as they believe that law enforcers are working with criminals.”

Police spokesperson Charles Owino

He’s not wrong. Many victims of crime would rather forsake justice than go through the process of dealing with the police.

It is largely seen as a fruitless and frustrating endeavour.

The police service has worked to improve its image over the past 10 years – dropping the word “force” from its official title in favour of “service”, vetting officers, instituting community policing and establishing gender and children desks.

But it appears that the more recent incidents of police beating protesters at a demonstration, and a wave of controversial killings, are still sending the Kenyan public a much louder message.

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