Influence Of Police Patrol On Crime Reduction In Imenti South District, Meru County, Kenya
Security is a key component for any development progress to take place and thus any hindrance to secure environment ought to be addressed immediately and effectively as it may hinder attainment of Vision 2030. The goal of this study was to assess the influence of police patrol on reduction of crime in Imenti South district and itfocussed on obtaining information from police officers in the district. The study was expected to benefit the public, police officers and the National Police Service who are policy makers. The research questions and objectives were set in order to aid in gathering information on the independent variables (police patrol) and its influence on dependent variable (crime reduction). The study was carried out in Imenti South district, which is one of the 26 districts in Eastern Province. The district is located in Meru County which consists of 6 other districts namely Igembe, Ntonyiri, Tigania East, Tigania West, North Imenti and Central Imenti. A cross-sectional survey study was used to obtain information on influence of police patrols and crime reduction. The target population for this study was 120 police officers in two police stations (Nkubu and Mitunguu) and seven police posts (Maraa, Igoji, Keria, Kinoro, Kiangua, Ntharene, Murungurune) in Imenti South District. Due to the small number of the population to be studied a census was undertaken meaning all individuals were studied. The study was guided by two theories of crime; routine activity theory which proposes that a crime occurs when a suitable target and a potential offender meet at a suitable time and place lacking capable guardianship and rational choice theory which adopts a utilitarian belief that man is a reasoning actor who weighs means and ends, costs and benefits, and makes a rational choice.A pilot study to test the validity and reliability of the research instrument was carried out in Meru Central District which had similar characteristics as Imenti South District. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data on demographic, socio-economic, number of police officers, police patrol strategies, police job satisfaction, police motivation as well as attitudes and practices. Data was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. This generated quantitative reports through crosstabulations, percentages, correlation, means and regression. The findings were presented using tables and frequency distributions. This study established that number of police officers affect crime reduction to a very small extent and the officers are severely under staffed, leading to long works hours and reduced leave days. It therefore made a recommendation that the number of police officers should be increased. The study also found that hot spot patrol and foot patrol were most effective and lack of patrol cars as well as limited number of police officers were found as major challenges in the implementation of patrol strategies and therefore recommended training and capacity building to police officers on the patrol strategy as well as provision of more patrol cars. The study further found that police officers were not satisfied with their working hours and salary and considering the work the police officers undertake the study recommended that the officers salary be increased and more officers be employed to bridge the gap that currently exist and to ensure that they do not work for very long hours. The study lastly found that police officers feel more motivated by financial motivators than non-financial motivators and that the officers housing condition are in bad state as some officers even share rooms. This study therefore recommended that more financial motivator be used to reward the officers as well as non-financial motivators and that more houses to be built for officers to improve their housing conditions and necessary arrangements be made to avoid sharing of houses. The study suggests further studies on influence of leadership of police officers on crime reduction and influence of police officers corruption on crime reduction.