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Kenya hails community policing for a slump in terrorism, insecurity 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Robust engagement of citizens in policing has contributed significantly to a slump in terrorist attacks and other security threats in Kenya, officials said on Monday.

Joseph Kaguthi, the Chairman of Community Policing Initiative at the Presidency said ordinary citizens have bolstered state-led initiatives to identify and nab law breakers including terrorists, violent robbers, cattle rustlers and drug kingpins.

“The citizens-based policing has been a success in the recent past as evidenced by a decline in terror attacks and other forms of security threats in the country,” Kaguthi said in Nairobi during a national forum to evaluate the success of community policing initiative launched by the government two years ago in the wake of terrorist attacks in Kenya.

“Citizens have been reporting terror suspects to police in a rapid manner hence preventing loss of lives. We have engaged the public in regions prone to terrorism to become an integral part of this unconventional warfare,” said Kaguthi.

The Kenyan government and bilateral allies have increased budgetary allocation to community policing in order to strengthen response to insecurity.

According to Kaguthi, communities in volatile regions have been empowered with knowledge and modern technologies to enable them detect and report security threats on real time basis.

“We have provided a platform for local communities to identify and report to authorities criminal elements in their midst. As a result, we have witnessed an enthusiasm by the public to report terror suspects evading law enforcement agencies,” Kaguthi said.

He added that citizens based policing has been enhanced in northern Kenyan counties to boost the war against cattle rustling.

Kenya has enacted a raft of policy and legislative frameworks to strengthen community policing in the light of rapidly evolving security threats.

Francis Sang, a member of the state-led community policing initiative noted that citizens’ participation has revolutionized the war against urban crime, terrorism and banditry in Kenya.

“Many countries including Kenya have embraced community policing in their quest to defeat modern security threats like terrorism, drugs smuggling and robbery,” Sang said.

He added that community policing will be critical to prevent mayhem as Kenya gears up for hotly contested general election in August.

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