Nairobi (Kenya), 4 August 2020 - To address the unique challenges that police officers face in enforcing law and order during the COVID-19 pandemic, the first ever online training course for Kenya’s National Police Service (NPS) was launched on 29 July.
The training is the result of collaboration between the NPS, European Union and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and comprises seven e-learning modules that police officers can complete at their own pace on a computer, tablet or smart phone.
Among the topics covered are the use of force, human rights approaches to crowd control, handling of sexual and gender-based violence cases, bail and bond, and how to deal with special interest groups such as persons with disabilities and children in conflict with the law.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for policing in Kenya and we therefore need new response strategies to crime and incidents, and the enforcement of COVID-related regulations,” the Inspector General of the National Police Service, Hilary Mutyambai, said.
“These training modules will go a long way in equipping our officers with relevant information for better service delivery to the public while observing the Rule of Law, their personal safety and that of offenders, and I thank the European Union and UNODC for this initiative,” he said.
The new, mandatory training is jointly developed by the NPS and UNODC with EU financial support through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD), and is part of a broader assistance package for the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ).The NPS is benefitting from PLEAD for the first time through its membership of NCAJ, the body that is leading the justice sector’s COVID-19 response.
“The Police Service is to be commended for prioritising the training of its officers to the highest standards so that they can meet the unforeseen policing challenges that have arisen as a consequence of the pandemic and comply with Kenya’s constitutional human rights standards” the European Union Ambassador, Simon Mordue, said.
“We hope there’s a positive uptake of the e-learning by officers across the country who stand to gain from this capacity building, in terms of the immediate training in relation to the pandemic, and also for their longer term professional development,” Ambassador Mordue said.
PLEAD is the largest criminal justice partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa, involving the Government of Kenya, the EU, the United Nations and civil society. It focuses on improving the delivery of justice services, settlement of disputes and use of alternatives to imprisonment.
“The pandemic has presented a new opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of law enforcement and justice institutions, and that includes turning to online training,”
UNODC Regional Representative Amado Philip de Andrés said. “UNODC has a long-standing association with the Police Service we’re pleased to be partnering again through this timely capacity building initiative,” he added.
The UNODC eLearning Programme provides online tools in multiple languages to criminal justice practitioners worldwide, to enhance their knowledge and capacity to respond to global human security threats, especially when faced with rapidly emerging challenges.