Preparedness of the Kenya National Police Service to Adopt Geographic Information Systems Technology in Crime Measurement, Mapping and Evaluation
Baraka, Eliud Gachie
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Emerging issues in law enforcement are becoming complex in today’s society due to enhanced globalization and increased transnational crimes. To address these challenges, police agencies need to adopt and effectively apply more innovative analysis tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in law enforcement. However, the Kenya National Police Service (NPS) is still using occurrence books, paper-maps and push-pins (manual tools) to record, map and analyse crime. The goal of this study was therefore to assess preparedness of the NPS to adopt GIS Technology in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation. The study was guided by the following specific objectives (i) to determine Kenyan police officers’ satisfaction with manual tools in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation, (ii) to establish Kenyan police officers’ attitudes toward adoption of GIS technology in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation, (iii) to compare Kenyan police officers’ user-perceptions toward manual tools versus GIS technology in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation and (iv) to identify challenges which NPS would encounter during adoption of GIS technology in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation. Survey research design was used where questionnaires, interviews and a focus group discussion were used to collect data at headquarter formations of NPS in Nairobi. Stratified sampling was used where the police population was grouped into four homogenous subgroups (Kenya Police, Administration Police, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and General Service Unit). Twenty five respondents were conveniently selected from each subgroup to have a sample size of 100 respondents. The study used descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages), measures of central tendency (mean and mode), measures of dispersion (standard deviation) and inferential statistics (Pearson’s correlation and t-test) to summarize and analyse survey data. The results were presented in tables, pie-charts and bar-graphs. Information obtained from interviews and the focus group was summarized using content analysis and incorporated in the discussion. The study revealed that 55.00% of Kenyan police officers were satisfied with manual tools in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation mainly because they were easy to use. The study also revealed that 63.50% of Kenyan police officers had an open attitude towards adoption of GIS technology by NPS. The study indicates that only 42.25% of Kenyan police officers found manual tools to be useful in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation while 70.00% believed GIS technology would be more useful. The study shows that 67.75% of the Kenyan police officers found manual tools to be easy to use in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation while 56.75% feared GIS technology might be difficult to use. The study revealed that there would be several challenges during the adoption of GIS technology by NPS but these could be mitigated by putting in place the necessary countermeasures. The study therefore concludes that although most Kenyan police officers were satisfied with manual tools in crime measurement, mapping and evaluation, they were willing to use GIS technology but NPS would have to address some challenges for successful implementation. The study recommends similar and/or related studies to be conducted with a sample comprising of professionals from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), National Intelligence Services (NIS) and private security providers across the country. This will provide a holistic perspective since security provision is a collaborative venture that requires combined effort from all stakeholders.