More than half of Kenyan police officers like policing but are not satisfied with their jobs, a new survey suggests.
The report also said if a complaint is lodged against the police, there’s only a 35 per cent chance it will be investigated.
The Policing Service Delivery Performance survey released on Monday said though officers like policing, there is no reasonable balance between their personal and professional lives.
The survey indicated overall job satisfaction performance index for general duty police officers (GDPO) is 48 per cent.
Overall, the rating for handling complaints about the police was 21 per cent.
According to the study, 73 per cent of the officers surveyed said they do not get enough time with their families and friends.
“The lowest rated area was in salary, allowance and benefits with a score of 13 per cent, while the highest rating was in satisfaction with their supervisor with a score of 81 per cent,” the report reads.
Despite the good the relations with their supervisors and general belief in their leadership skills, 44 per cent said their bosses are incapable of promoting discipline.
The survey was conducted in 127 police stations in Nairobi, Central, Eastern, North Eastern, Coast, Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza. The aim was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the status of policing services.
The report included face-to-face surveys, focus groups and questionnaires. It covered the period between May 2020 to May 2021.
The survey interviewed 127 officers commanding station (OCS), 1,811 GDPO, and 2,244 civilians. Fifty-one police stations were in urban centres, 37 per cent in peri-urban and 40 in rural areas.
The survey obtained detailed information on police station capacity to perform its functions, police officer job satisfaction, police professional standards, police accountability and citizen satisfaction.
The survey suggests the overall performance index for police station capacity was only 38 per cent. Though 71 per cent said they were satisfied with their personnel, seven per cent said their bosses rarely inspect the station or working conditions.
As for civilians, only 34 per cent said they trust the system for handling complaints against the police.
Forty per cent of the respondents said they did not believe their complaints would be taken seriously. Another 26 per cent said they didn’t know whether the complaint would be taken seriously by the OCS.
Mechanisms for receiving complaints and disciplinary enquiry scored 47 per cent because the majority, 63 per cent, of stations had no complaint registers and police complaint forms for the public to fill out.
Only 35 per cent of 127 stations reported to have investigated all allegations or complaints made against police officers. The remaining 65 per cent did not investigate.
Only 38 per cent of police officers said they believe they can get promoted to develop their careers or get transfers to good posts.
Eighty per cent of the GDPOs said training helped them improve their work. However, 56 per cent said there were insufficient training materials and training opportunities to allow them to perform their jobs well.
Twenty-eight per cent said training helped them get promoted and 20 per cent said training helped them get transfers and advance in the ranks.
Twenty-one per cent of the stations reported the main allegations against police are disobeying lawful commands and negligence in performance of duty.
Physical assault, harassment and intimidation followed at 16 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Nine per cent of the respondents reported police inaction, seven per cent excessive use of force, while seven per cent reported bribery, corruption and extortion.
An average of three per cent of police stations reported there had been allegations or complaints made about theft or robbery, torture, malicious prosecutions, threats to life, obstruction of justice and abuse of office.
The survey established the overall professional standards index was 55 per cent.
About half of community members, 51 per cent, rated police to e fair in dealing with people in the community.
According to the report, lower ratings in police-community relations were due to a higher number of respondents in the rural areas reporting police officers treated them unfairly.
Only eight per cent of the respondent in the rural areas are aware they can lodge a complaint against police officers, the survey report said.
Overall, 54 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with the service they received from the police. Only 21 per cent reported their complaints about police.
Thirty-six per cent of the respondents reported they were dissatisfied and 10 per cent reported that they were neither dissatisfied nor satisfied.
Fifty-two per cent of the satisfied respondents were from urban areas, 51 per cent from peri-urban areas and 40 per cent from rural areas.
Twenty-eight per cent of those who were dissatisfied reported they had been asked for a bribe.
Eleven per cent of respondents said the police had taken no action; nine percent reported the police were unfriendly; eight per cent reported they were unprofessional; three per cent reported police officers were untrustworthy.
Sixty-seven per cent of officers surveyed said they did not like their stations, equipment and tools in general, including the new bright blue uniforms.
Only 36 per cent of the officers said they were satisfied with their stations or working premises; only 34 per cent said they are well maintained.
Fifty-seven per cent of officers surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their tools and equipment; sixty-seven per cent with the supply of stationery, police uniforms, books and registers; 21 per cent with personal issue clothing.
Thirty-one per cent of respondents reported they had been aggrieved by police actions. Forty-nine per cent of the aggrieved respondents were from urban areas, 31 per cent from peri-urban areas and 20 per cent from rural areas.
Overall, the rating for police good conduct was at a high of 69 per cent.
The report recommends the National Police Service start with ‘quick wins’ to improve service delivery.
“There are so many areas of service delivery performance where improvement would be visible and immediate. They could be delivered quickly without additional budgetary resources,” the report read.
The report by the NPS said KPS and its directorates should identify and implement ‘quick wins’ performance improvement areas. These cover police station capacity, police job satisfaction, professional standards, police accountability and citizen satisfaction.
It also urges the Interior CS to undertake a comprehensive review of police service delivery, costing and funding to police divisions and stations.
It recommended that police service delivery be monitored and audited regularly.
“There is a need to develop and support citizen/police friendly tools for participation in monitoring police service delivery,” the report read.
(Edited by V. Graham)