Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has called on station commanders to ensure cells are not overcrowded even as they enforce the law amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Kenyans engage in merrymaking during this festive season, there have been concerns that the ministry of health’s social distancing directive is not being adhered to in police cells for those Kenyans who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
In his New Year message, the IG directed the station commanders to ensure members of the public are protected from Covid-19 while in the cells.
Noting that the police have equally been affected by the pandemic, with some losing lives, the IG asked the men and women in uniform to exercise caution while on duty to minimise physical contact and also observe the basic hygiene practices of hand washing and masking up.
“Station commanders must ensure that the cells are not congested so that the public is protected. I urge all officers to keep up the good work and continue enforcing the public health regulations,” Mutyambai said on Thursday.
The IG also warned members of the public against “attacks” on police officers.
“We have in the recent past experienced cases of attacks on police officers on duty by members of public, who are either challenging the rule of law or simply expressing self-conceited acts of arrogance. Their modus operandi is to upload such videos on social media platforms to ridicule the NPS and subject the innocent officers to the unforgiving court of public opinion, ” he said.
“My message to all police officers is unequivocal: Act firmly, decisively and execute your duties without any fear or favour, but within the parameters of the laws of this country.”
On terrorism activities, the IG stated that Kenyan remains unbowed.
“Terrorism still remains a major cause of insecurity globally and we are not an exemption. We must remain vigilant at all times, for our own safety, and that of the public. We are glad to note that a number of attempted attacks have been thwarted, and we owe this to increased surveillance and prompt response by our security agencies, ” he added.
He pointed out that this year, there have been isolated cases of ethnic violence mostly resulting from cattle theft that led to loss of lives, destruction of property and in some areas displacement of peaceful settlements.
The IG directed commanders in the affected areas to act decisively in a bid to tame the vice.
“The commanders in the affected areas must work closely with other security agencies and other community-based initiatives to deal with these criminals and ensure that peace is fully restored in the affected areas, ” the statement reads.
Mutyambai noted that there have been fewer fatalities reported on our roads due to the government’s concerted efforts to bring order on the roads especially during this festive season.
“We must build on this momentum to make our roads safer for use. Drivers, pedestrians and riders must strictly observe traffic laws and regulations. I direct every police officer to exercise their constitutional mandate of enforcing safety on our road, especially during this festive season, ” he said.
He asked officers to maintain a high level of integrity while serving the nation.
“Fellow officers, integrity, honesty and true service are the foundation stone of a spotless, disciplined Police Service. Our determination to fight corruption within the Service is unwavering: Your individual decision to give a faithful service to the public as per your oath of service must be upheld at all times. Our actions must therefore demonstrate respect for the people, honour for the offices we occupy, and devoid of any false sense of entitlement,” he added.
“This is also a time to remember all those gallant officers who have lost their lives or suffered injuries in the line of duty. We recognize with deep appreciation their sacrifice and willingness to pay the ultimate price for the safety and security of our great nation and her people.”