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MPs call for scaled up security systems to boost fight against insecurity

National Assembly lawmakers have called on the government to invest more in the modernisation of security systems to help improve the fight against insecurity in the country.

This comes at a time when the total number of crimes reported in the country have been on the rise with 93,411 cases recorded in 2019, an increase of 5.8 percent from the 88,268 cases in 2018.

MODERN EQUIPMENT

As a result, the National Assembly Administration and Security committee wants the State department for Interior to focus on scaling up investments towards modern technology in order to improve security in the country.

The Committee chairman Paul Koinange said that it is only though use of modern technology that the country can adequately respond to terrorism as well as emerging forms of crime such as cybercrime, drug trafficking among others.

He pointed out that modernisation holds the key to turning the security agencies in the country into efficient and effective bodies with up to date tools and technology for enhanced security operations throughout the country and across the borders.

“Having police officers in stations and patrolling in vehicles is not enough. We need to evolve with new technologies because crime and terrorism have also evolved,” said Mr Koinange.

SURVEILLANCE

“Without modern equipment such as the use of drones in operation areas, the war on terror may not be won,” he added.

The Kiambaa MP decried the dwindling allocations towards the programme, saying that the shortfall in resource allocation for police modernization programme was a risk to the overall implementation of the policies and programmes of the government.

“We implore the National Treasury to enhance resources towards the same as soon as normalcy returns,” he said.

He pointed out that areas of immediate focus for the government should be on the expansion of the National Surveillance and Control System in major towns with the legislator pushing for the instalment of CCTV surveillance systems along major highways and towns.

This is in addition to increasing police mobility as well as equipping the national forensic laboratory to enable the country’s criminal justice system resolve complex cases which may not be easily resolved without science.

CHALLENGES

“The delay in the completion of this project (forensic laboratory) therefore has led to delayed returns in investment. We call on the National Treasury and State Department of Interior to prioritise the completion of this critical project,” said the MP.

He further called for the strengthening of the Coast Guard to secure Kenyan coastline so that the blue economy can grow.

Mr Koinange said that the country’s security environment is faced with challenges occasioned by the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic and the rising number of crime cases being reported to the police.

“We must work hard to reverse this. We will support any policy measure aimed at improving service delivery to wananchi,” he said.

In the budget estimates of expenditure for the financial year ending June, 2021; Sh1.5 billion has been allocated towards the national communication and surveillance system, Sh10.7 billion towards increasing police mobility and Sh1 billion for modernising the police service.