The National Police Service today received another 500 new vehicles under the Jubilee Government’s ongoing plan to enhance mobility and welfare for security officers.
The delivery of the vehicles, overseen by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Uhuru Park today, marks another milestone in the fulfillment of pledges President Kenyatta made to better equip the Kenya Police.
When he spoke at the function, President Kenyatta said one of the most glaring gaps in the security sector, when the Jubilee Government came into power, was the lack of transport that hampered the effectiveness of the police.
In 2013, the National Police Service had only 3,155 police vehicles nationwide and most of these vehicles were in a state of disrepair.
“This sorry state of affairs meant that our Police officers could not effectively execute their mandate of keeping this country safe and secure,” said the President.
This sorry state of lack of police transport forced President Kenyatta to launch a new scheme to equip the forces with new vehicles.
The Police have so far received 2,720 new vehicles under the national police vehicle leasing programme.
Additionally, President Kenyatta’s government has also procured 30 armoured personnel carriers to improve police response and capability.
The Government has also procured 25 mine resistant armoured personnel carriers that will be deployed in the Coast and North Eastern Regions.
In 2013, the police had only 1 working helicopter and two fixed wing single engine planes. Today, the police have three serviceable helicopters and the fleet is expected to expand to seven by July this year.
President Kenyatta said the tooling gap in the police service is huge and historical, but the Jubilee Administration is committed to bridge that gap.
He noted that police officers today have a Comprehensive Medical Insurance Cover which came into effect last year, to add onto the Group Life Insurance Cover, which they have had for the last three years. “This is in my Administration’s conviction of the unique circumstances under which police work’” said the President.
The Head of State said the Government is also addressing other aspects of police welfare besides transportation and staffing.
“The Police housing programme is underway and the first phase which comprises 1,500 units in Nairobi as well as other parts of the country, are being constructed. Out of this figure, 200 units have been completed and are now occupied,” said the President.
He said the construction of the second phase comprising 4, 800 units will begin soon in line with the Government’s commitment to resolve the police housing challenge.
The President said investment in CCTV cameras and improved street lighting as well as better forensics is paying off.
This is evidenced by the reduction in reported robberies which fell from 436 reported in 2014 to 295 in 2016; motor vehicle thefts fell from 340 to 195; offences targeting individuals, such as muggings fell from 1,360 reported in 2014 to 992 in 2016.
President Kenyatta also called on the police and all other agencies with relevant mandates to deal firmly with incitement as the country enters the electioneering period.
“Elections come and go, so it is our duty – all of us – to ensure that our country remains united, peaceful and secure before, during and after elections. I urge politicians of all shades to conduct their campaigns peacefully to confirm our maturity as a democracy,” said the Presidents.
Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet thanked the President for spearheading the efforts to equip the police force with the necessary equipment to fulfill their mandate.