Concerned Citizens For Peace – 13 Feb 08

Notes on meeting to discuss public statements – February 13th 2008

Police

  • Police to some extent have double standards. Seminars are required to enlighten and instil in the force that they are Kenyans serving a public good

  • Police are also victims of circumstance – however on the ground they tend only to take an authoritarian approach, being co-ercive and forgetting that their other role is to adopt a humanitarian side. This needs to be adjusted

  • Community Policing and Kenya Police need have dialogue and work together. That way the public is participating in its security which makes it more powerful an action

  • Police need to explain what it is they need to be part of a community – and vice versa

  • Rebrand Police force as Police Service, after it has been improved!

  • People still run away from and not towards the police. There is still a lot of fear. We only see them in crisis management mode. They need to be seen in community modes in day to day scenarios to encourage trust

  • The issue may be not the ordinary policeman but from the inspector level upwards. Attitudes that change at the top will filter down

  • Police can’t operate successfully unless the public provided information to them for free. Paid for information is useless. But then police need to respect and be courteous to whoever comes with information regardless of their age or how they are dressed. Most of the public are law abiding, but won’t provide information if they feel they will be victimised

  • Pumwani – Strong community policing at Majengo. Public knows their rights. So are aware that police cant harass them. Trainings on elections, on rights, on co-operation took place at St John’s Community Centre. Youths were educated through theatre, talks, meetings. As a result there has been no violence in the area (which is also 75% Muslim). Public are encouraged to view police as their best friends, and Police rebuke public by saying “Don’t destroy where you live.” So a mutual understanding has developed.

  • Ministerial interference with police must stop.

  • Diplomacy works – in Mathare 10, a police officer was able to keep peace through talking rather than using violence to cool crowds

  • Police need to be more accountable – in for a it seems they are happy to discuss more salary computers, etc but not willing to accept that they have to be accountable too

Counselling

· KIA is organising a 5 day counselling course. Is that enough? Idea is to encourage healing and reconciliation in workplace by training peers to develop these skills.

· Psychologist Nancy Baron, who has spoken to KAPS (Kenya Assoc of Prof Counsellors) says that text book models not appropriate in this setting. She has vast experience in Asia and Africa in conflict zones and is to come back to do further training. She has sent paper on the harms of Critical Incident Debriefing and is attached

· Important to instil peace, to listen, be empathetic. Some just need a listening ear right now

· Guidelines for counsellors are required to help deal with current situation

· Perhaps those already trained for HIV counselling could be brought into work at camps and use their skills as counsellors in this area

· Group therapy is a way in which people could work together with a facilitator to sort out issues. This is likely far more effective use of counsellors than 1 to 1 as need is currently very high.

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