Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua has said poor working conditions has led to the rise of police depression.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Security Committee chaired by Limuru Member of Parliament Peter Mwathi, Mbugua said unless the working environment is improved, police officers will continue to suffer from depression and stress.
He noted that symptoms are the one being addressed instead of the root cause of why the officers are going through depression.
“Long working hours and lack of retraining are some of the issues that have led to depression within the service. Most police stations are not only understaffed, but have no funds to facilitate movement, forcing commanders to use their own money,” he said.
He noted that more than 400 police stations in the country have no vehicle making it so hard for the officers to go to a crime scene.
National Police Service Commission Eliud Kinuthia and Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai among other NPSC commissioners also attended the meeting.
The meeting was scheduled by the lawmakers to know what the police service is doing to curve the surge in cases of suicide and murders within the service.
News about police suicides, attacks by police officers on colleagues and family members are on the rise.
In response to the rising cases of murder-suicides within the police, NPS has embarked on programme to sensitise all police officers in trauma healing and psychological wellbeing.
The plan is to give officers tools to sharpen trauma sensitivity to recognise it in themselves, other officers and the community; improve skills and approaches to facilitate peer support, and amplify processes that enhance the role of police stations as avenues of healing of officers and the community at large.
It is hoped that these systems will facilitate an environment where officers are free with each other to share, vent, counsel each other and hopefully avoid pent up stress that bursts into destructive bouts of violence.
The service also agreed to develop and strengthen a structured communication channel, as well as enhance monitoring of police officers.