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Kenya pledges modernization of police service to boost war on crime 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Kenya will hasten modernization of national police service through training, acquisition of new equipment and improved remuneration to enhance its response to crime and other emerging security threats, officials said on Thursday.

Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i said the state will prioritize investments in a modern and well-equipped police force to revitalize war on crime, terrorism, human trafficking and political violence.

“Modernization of police service is in the works and will involve provision of new houses, equipment and re-training to help deal with security challenges like terrorism, cattle rustling, human trafficking and urban crime that are of major concern,” Matiang’i remarked.

He spoke in Nairobi during a national workshop on strengthening public safety to realize Kenya’s socioeconomic agenda that was attended by police commanders drawn from all parts of the country.

Matiang’i said the police service was operating under severe pressure occasioned by political tensions and emergence of sophisticated threats like cyber-crime.

“The police service must adopt a robust strategy to deal with cyber-criminals who have formed extortion rackets and are also stealing money from banks. Cyber-terrorism is also a major threat in Kenya and across the globe,” said Matiang’i.

He added that the government had intensified surveillance to deal with criminal elements keen to take advantage of a charged political environment to sow divisions and chaos.

Kenya survived a highly anticipated political storm on Tuesday when the main opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA) swore in their own “President” at a public park in the capital of Nairobi.

The police force kept off the swearing-in ceremony to avoid a bloody confrontation with opposition supporters though the government banned live coverage of the event.

Matiang’i said at a media briefing on Wednesday evening that a bloodbath was nipped in the bud when police officers kept off Uhuru Park grounds where the oath-taking ceremony took place.

At the same time, the cabinet secretary said three privately-owned television stations would remain off air until investigations on their possible collusion with elements bent on fomenting political crisis were completed.

Matiang’i assured the public that the government’s commitment to maintain law and order as a means to boost economic productivity and social cohesion.

“Our security forces are up to task and will deal firmly with individuals or groups conspiring to destabilize the country,” Matiang’i remarked.

He urged senior police officers to intensify the war against illicit brews, muggings, invasion of private property and unlicensed gambling dens in rural towns.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet on his part said a new curriculum for new recruits is ready to boost the capacity of the national police service to deal with sophisticated crimes.

He added that the police service has prioritized the protection of critical infrastructure and the fight against banditry in remote outposts in its medium-term plans. 

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