ROGUE COPS

End of plain clothes police, no firearms for off-duty officers

In Summary

• No police officer will wear plain clothes while on official duty, this is according to a new circular aimed at curbing rogue cops.

• In a confidential document seen by the Star, only officers from the Directorate of Criminal investigations will be allowed to put on plain clothes.

A photo of Police Officers at the Isiolo police station.
Isiolo police deny beating man to death A photo of Police Officers at the Isiolo police station.
Image: DENNIS DIBONDO

Police officers will no longer be allowed to wear plain clothes while on official duty, a new directive shows.

According to the confidential document seen by the Star on Friday, only officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations will be allowed to put on plain clothes.

As a result, the Special Undercover Squad under the code name SPIV has been abolished.

The directive further indicates that no police officer will be allowed to retain a firearm while off duty.

Officers will be required to surrender their weapons with the armoury at their respective stations before clocking out.

Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua said the directives followed a meeting between the joint service board with the regional and sub-county police commanders, DCI and CIPU commanders held in Nairobi.

He said the meeting focused on increased involvement of police officers in uniform on beats and patrols.

This directive comes amid alarm as more uniformed officers turn to crime.

At least 89 police officers have been arrested over the last six months for offences including murder, robberies, kidnapping, extortion, gunrunning and drug trafficking, among other serious crimes.

Other cases under investigation point at police involvement in livestock thefts in cattle rustling prone areas, due to the way raids and counter-offensive attacks are executed.

Sources told the Star that the frequent attacks bear hallmarks of raiders conversant with “paramilitary” training.

This escalating rot by rogue cops is what has rattled the seniors to rethink new ways of reigning on the criminals in their rank and file.

In the directive dated October 11, all Kenya Police General Duty officers will perform their duties in police uniform including crime branch officers even when attending court sessions to give evidence.

"If there is need to perform an operation and it is considered conducting the operation in uniform will complicate the success of the operation then the commander will authorize the wearing of plain clothes during the period of the operation and immediately after the operation revert to uniform," the directive read in part.

Mbugua said arms will only be issued when the nature of the duty to be performed demands the issuance of a firearm.

"The firearm will be returned to the armoury immediately after duty and no officer will be allowed to retain firearm while not on duty," the directive by Mbugua states.

Mbugua said going forward, all officers proceeding on duty will be inspected and briefed before and later debriefed after duty.

"Senior officers visiting the stations will book the visiting book and commanders to confirm receipt and compliance to their next senior command," the directive stated.