The challenges related to police reforms in Kenya: a survey of Nairobi County, Kenya
Chtalu, K. A. Bruce
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This study focused on the challenges of police reforms in Nairobi County. Available literature indicated that police reform in Kenya had become a prominent policy issue that was being implemented. As a result, concerns on the attendant challenges of police reforms came forth during the implementation process. To address these concerns, the study therefore aimed at examining the challenges that were affecting implementation of reforms within Nairobi County. The specific objectives were to analyze the key features of police reforms; examine key areas where police reforms had succeeded; discus the areas lagging behind in relation to implementation of police reforms; and identify the key challenges that were impeding on progress of police reforms in Nairobi County. This study was guided by Kurt Lewin‟s theory of change in analyzing the theoretical background as well as discussing the findings. A descriptive survey research design involving use of questionnaires and in-depth interviews with key informants was used. The study targeted a population of 2100 police officers and 10 key informants drawn from the civil society and the National Police Service. The police officers and commanders were sampled using stratified random sampling, while the key informants were purposively sampled. The sample size for police officers and key informants were 210 and 10 respectively. Primary data was collected using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires; while secondary data was collected through thematic review of literature on police reforms. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic method, while quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive frequencies with the aid of Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study revealed that police reforms had not elicited noticeable recognition from police officers. Specifically, the study discovered that knowledge of police reforms among police officers was very low as only 21.5% cited the change of name from police force to police service while 10% noted the appointment of the Inspector General as part of the reforms. The study also revealed that implementation of new rank structure and vetting of police officers had become difficult to implement as required by the law. The study recommended that the National Police Service Commission should embark on vetting all police officers as well as carrying out awareness campaigns to sensitize police officers on the importance of police reforms. Areas of further research included the need to conduct studies on how the police officers were engaging with the emerging institutions like the National Police Service Commission, the Independent Police Oversight Authority and the office of the Inspector General. It is also important to carry out research of police reforms within the broader context of security sector reforms in Kenya.