The living conditions of police officers must be improved for them to effectively protect lives and property, MPs have said.
The National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, which is on an inspection tour of police stations and housing facilities at the Coast has expressed concerns over the deplorable conditions which police officers are subjected to.
“Like here in Mbaraki, we find that the status is very bad and it looks there has been no maintenance,” said Committee Chairperson Paul Koinange.
The Committee was shocked after inspecting the Mbaraki police line in Mombasa where they saw dilapidated houses, bushy environment, blocked sewages and cracked walls.
Koinange said police officers’ mental health is the most important thing to look after so as to avoid cases where police officers are involved in suicide and homicide.
“These are some of the aspects that touch on mental health. If you are not working in the conditions you are supposed to be working in, you can easily suffer mental health illness,” said Mr. Koinange.
He said the committee is keen to ensure police officers get psychosocial help.
“We even plan to have mobile psychosocial officers to visit every police station to speak to police officers so they can help them out,” said Koinange.
The committee also toured Central police station before heading to Kwale county.
The Kiambaa MP said a police officer cannot serve citizens effectively if their living place is not in good conditions.
“They come out of their homes very stressful people. You can imagine when it rains, the officer will come out of here very stressed and disturbed that he can’t serve the public as required,” noted the committee Chairperson.
He noted that the committee will ensure the status of the houses is improved as soon as possible.
[The National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security Chairperson Paul Koinange addressing journalists. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
Koinange, who was accompanied by Teso North MP Oku Kaunya, said a common problem in all the police stations and housing lines they have so far visited across the country has been police uniforms, boots and vehicles.
He said Mombasa, for example, is a place where more police vehicles are needed due to the increased population.
Koinange said the committee is the eye of the President.
His committee is the first to do an inspection of police stations or housing facilities.
“We will pursue this issue of the budget to make sure we change the conditions of these houses,” said Koinange.
He said a reward scheme will also be emphasized so that police officers are motivated to serve citizens.