An appraisal of Police reform under the new legal framework in Kenya: Towards an effective policing policy
Police reform is a key area in security sector reform that needs to be keenly addressed. Since reforms began in the police services in Kenya, little efforts have been made to appraise the reform process. This research is one of the first attempts to address police reform appraisal using analytical and statistical approaches, within the new legal framework. The research uses available data in literature and expert survey to examine the level of Police Reform. Expert respondents were obtained from members of the police service, various stakeholder organizations and the public. Care was taken in respondent sampling so as to get a pool of informed respondents and members of the public, representative of the general Kenyan population. Data sources were the internet, books, periodicals, journals, survey responses among others. Due to the nature of this research which seeks to appraise the extent of the implementations of Police Reform, approaches beyond legal were utilized. Data analyses were done using Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) methods, central tendency statistical analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) using Analysis of Moment of Structures (AMOS®) software to obtain covariance of reform indicator categories. Reliability and validity of survey results and analysis were tested using reliability constant (Cronbach’s alpha) and average variance extracted (AVE), respectively. Results of this research show that despite the backing of the provisions of Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and subsequent legislations on Police Reforms, the pace of police reform in Kenya is slow; less is done in terms of putting necessary reform structures and there have been general resistance within police services and by the government. The average respondent rating for the identified 65 police reform indicators was 2.04 in a Likert-scale rate of 1-5. The results further indicate that there is high level of corruptibility of police officers, inadequate management, supervision and monitoring of police and, lack of reasonable and transparent standards of vetting police recruits and those in service. These results have far-reaching implications to the National Police Service, the government, the public and the judiciary. It is recommended that police reform process should be sped up and be fully implemented through first enacting and amending appropriate legislations. Those recommendations by the Taskforce on Police Reforms should be appropriately implemented. Stakeholders should desist from resisting reform efforts.