National Police Service defends its Armoured Personnel Carriers

The National Police Service has clarified that the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPS) procured in 2016 are used for specific assignments as they have different fire power resistance abilities.

In a statement Tuesday signed by Director of Corporate Communications Charles Wahogo, he says that the APCs can resist specific calibers of ammunition while MRAPs resist mines and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs).

“This is therefore to clarify that the National Police Service has adequate equipment with different resistance abilities. “He said.

He however said that the September 10th attack on the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) involved an attack by an RPG which the APC is not designed to resist.

“The National Police Service is equally equipped with (MRAPs) which would resist and attack by RPG or mines. “He added.

He clarified that the attack was not in any way due to the unsuitability of the police equipment as carried in one of the local dailies.

Background 

In 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the first batch of armored personnel carriers for the National Police Service barely a week after he promised that he would be scaling up the war against terror.

Speaking at the GSU headquarters the President said the government would continue not only to equip the police force but also to ensure their welfare is well catered for.

Uhuru said that the government does not take for granted the challenges police officers go through in the line of duty and as it has plans to improve their terms of service and working condition.

This first batch of the armored personnel carriers were deployed to North Eastern and Lamu areas that had witnessed numerous terror attacks.

The armoured personnel carriers (APCs), according to President Kenyatta, were to help the police to fight terrorism and organised crime without depending on the military.

He said there were also plans to provide Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles to the police to improve protection for officers deployed in volatile areas.

The plan to equip the police with such protective vehicles was a first in the history of the country and came in the wake of an increasing terror threat, where several security officers had lost their lives in the past as they tried to prevent or repulse terror attacks.

He said the government had embarked on a major modernization of the Kenya Police Service to improve efficiency of the force in the fight against crime in the country, especially terrorism.

The current enhancement of police capacity to combat crime is the greatest modernisation programme in 20 years.

He said equipment of the police service would enable the force to protect Kenyans and their property from the many security threats facing the country.

The President pointed out that the government had enhanced transport for the Kenya Police Service and provided 2,220 vehicles through lease arrangement thus improving police visibility on the ground.

He assured the security forces that the Government will continue to enhance police capacity to fight all forms of crime in the country.

“The Police last received such equipped in 1995. Those ones will help the police respond quickly and more effectively to the security challenges of the time,” President Kenyatta said.

He cited the security threats in the country as incitement of animosity, cattle rustling, religious extremism, economic saboteurs, theft of public funds, and security personnel using their “uniforms and positions to harass and fleece the same Kenyans they swore to protect”.

  

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