Police Victimization and Security in Mathare North Nairobi City County, Kenya
Kilatya, Jairus Mutinda
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Police victimization is one of the growing cases in Kenya. There are reported cases of police being subjected to beatings and assault by citizens particularly in the low-income areas in Nairobi. Most of these reported cases have been traced to police actions, perceptions of the community towards the police and even inadequate resources that the police use. These in turn affect the security situation. It is upon this backdrop that this study envisaged scrutinizing police victimization and security in Mathare North, Nairobi City County. The specific objectives of the research were; to examine the categories of police victimization and their implications on security in Mathare North, to analyze the causes of police victimization and their implications on security in Mathare North, and to evaluate the state of security in Mathare North and how it could be related to police victimization. The lifestyle theory of victimization was used to guide the research. An exploratory research design based on primary data was relied on in the study. In conducting this research, the target population was 321 police officers in Mathare North, Nairobi City County comprising of the 147 General Duty Police, 101 traffic police and 73 Administration Police. A sample size of 97 police officers was selected from the target populace of Mathare North, Nairobi City County. Data collection was done through the use of questionnaires, while the analysis employed descriptive and content analysis. The reliability test showed that the variables used were reliable (Cronbach alpha was 0.759). The outcome from the study revealed that killing of the police was the main form of police victimization as shown by a mean of 3.9829, followed by intimidation of police with a mean of 3.7358 and assaults with a mean of 3.6470. Sixty-three (63) respondents duly filled the questionnaires out of a sample of 97 respondents representing 65 per cent of the total respondents. The findings revealed that the main causes of police victimization were the proliferation of illegal firearms among civilians, lack of adherence to the justice system, corruption in the police, human rights violations and lack of public trust in the police. The findings revealed further that government support was necessary and influenced the relationship between police victimization and insecurity in Mathare North as shown by a mean of 3.7437. The respondents agreed at a mean of 3.7426 that police victimization negatively affects the security of Mathare North. A correlation test was also done and revealed that police killings, assaults on police and intimidation of police were significantly and positively correlated with insecurity based on their correlation coefficients of 0.476, 0.512 and 0.495 respectively. A regression analysis was also carried out and from the findings; police killings had a significant and positive effect on the insecurity of Mathare North with a regression coefficient being 0.899 and a p-value of 0.006. Assault on the police had a significant and positive effect on the insecurity of Mathare North as shown by a regression coefficient of 1.020 and a p-value of 0.001. Intimidation of police had a positive and significant effect on the insecurity of Mathare North with a regression coefficient of 0.894 and a p-value of 0.004. The study recommends that the government should strengthen collaboration between the National Police Service and civilians in Mathare North to prevent cases of insecurity arising due to police victimization. The study further recommends that the government must improve on its support in terms of equipment to the police in the area so that they can be able to defend themselves while maintaining the security in Mathare. Future studies should focus on other low-income settlements in Nairobi and major towns in Kenya.