• Some 2,000 officers from the Anti Stock Theft Police Unit were transferred to the Administration Police Service as part of the ongoing police reform to enhance policing.
• The CS divulged that the government will bank on the new integration framework to solve immediate and historical security challenges in the country.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Friday declared an all-out war on cattle rustling and illegal firearms holders.
Matiang'i said that all the Kenya Police Reservists and the National Police Reservists will be disarmed in the ongoing exercise to ensure only police are involved in the provision of security and combating livestock theft.
The CS spoke during the handing over of 23,990 Administration Police officers to the Kenya Police Service.
The event was held at the National Police Service College in Embakasi on Friday.
Some 2,000 officers from the Anti Stock Theft Police Unit (ASTU) were also transferred to the Administration Police Service as part of the ongoing police reform to enhance policing.
“We must now move from a police force to a police service. This must be a change the people of Kenya can experience,” he said.
The CS divulged that the government will bank on the new integration framework to solve immediate and historical security challenges in the country.
In particular, the CS said that the deployment and police operations in the volatile Kerio Valley will enhance following the hand-over of Kenya Police Service’s Anti Stock Theft Unit to the Administration Police Service.
ASTU had slightly over 2,000 officers and was yesterday merged with the APS’s Stock Theft Prevention Unit to form one unit – ASTU with about 7, 000 officers tasked with the prevention of livestock theft and related clashes.
Other changes, Matiang'i said, will happen in the deployment of officers in the formed up units especially the ASTU and the Border Police Unit.
He said NPS will be deploying more resources in areas where the perennial problems of cattle rustling are prevalent “and when we go there we are not going to operate as if it is business as usual”.
“I want to say that as we move forward, I want to ask those of you joining the new formations especially the new framework of deploying ASTU - we want to approach this differently,” Matiang'i said.
Matiang'i said all illegal firearm holders must surrender them to the nearby police station.
He directed the IG Hillary Mutyambai to continue arresting those holding firearms without valid licenses.
“We have lived with this menace for a long time and it is not right to pretend that cattle- rustling is a cultural activity. We can’t be independent for 55 years and we are still talking about things that are fairly primitive like cattle stealing animals from each other,” Matiang'i said.
“It is a crime. They are engaged in crime and some of them are actually supported by well-placed middle-class people. So regardless of anyone’s position, we have agreed to adopt a very ruthless approach to this thing so that we sort it out once and for all.”
Matiang'i said the ongoing implementation of reforms must completely ensure a move from a police force to a police service “and these changes we are carrying out must not be merely about changing our uniforms formations and the ways in which we are organised”.