The Office of the County Commissioner in Lamu, supported by International Organization for Migration (IOM), carried out a one day sensitization on community policing workshop on 11 October 2018 at Lamu Museum Hall (Mwanaarafa) in Lamu West, Mkomani ward, Lamu County. The event was funded by the Government of Japan, and brought together 79 participants (8 females and 71 males). Community Policing is one of the key components under the PHSS IV programme implemented in the four Counties of the Coast region namely Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa and Lamu. The aim of the workshop included establishing active partnership through trust and confidence building between law enforcement and security agencies and the community towards safe and secure communities; and building capacities for crime prevention to address emerging security concerns towards community safety. The event is also part of the operationalization of the Lamu County action plans on countering violent extremism (CVE).
The workshop focused on bringing together government administrators from Lamu East and Lamu West. The event was led by Mr Kanyiri, the Lamu County Commissioner, with County Police Commander (CPC), County Administration Police Commander (CAPC),Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Chiefs and Assistant chiefs. Other participants came from the administration police, Peace Corps and other ground security officers from the National police service from Lamu East and Lamu West. National government agencies present were drawn from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of the National Government (MoI-CNG), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). In Mr Kanyiri’s opening remarks, the Lamu County Commissioner, appreciated the efforts of IOM in Lamu County as one of the key stakeholders who have played a major role in supporting government efforts in prevention of violent extremism. He noted that this training has come at the right time, as administrators ‘’they have walked the journey in terms of improving security and this training will help them discuss how they will improve on the work that they have been doing.’’ He lauded his officers for their efforts in improving community security and requested them to continue with the same spirit.
‘’Training and capacity building is critical and the knowledge gained should be utilized for better provision of security services to the residents of Lamu,’’ said Mr John Njoroge, IOM National External Relations Officer. Mr Kioi, the County Police Commander, noted that Lamu will be a ‘’24-hours economy and this will only be achieved through collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in curbing insecurities in different areas of representation.’’ Mr Njenga Miiri, from the National Counter Terrorism Centre, stated that “it was encouraging to see public service vehicles operating without fear. He requested the administrators to beef up security to take Lamu back where it was some years back when people used to sleep on house verandas at night.”
Dr Mark Leleruk, the training facilitator, cited that administrators in Lamu have been able to promote partnerships through the application of multi-agency security approaches involving all security agencies and the public in general as one of the key strategies in community policing. He emphasized that there is a need to address and eliminate fear of insecurity - “the notion that Lamu is not safe”. He encouraged the administrators to be proactive in community policing as a strategy to improve and address community concerns towards promotion of community safety and security. The topics discussed in the workshop included: introduction to community policing, community policing levels, situational analysis of security in Lamu County, Nyumba Kumi community policing structures, crime prevention in community policing structures, problem analysis/solving (SARA) model, the paradigm shift in community policing, guided group discussion and development of action plans in community policing, plenary presentations and the way forward on community policing in Lamu County.