CCTV to replace traffic police in new Bill

Traffic police officers will be taken off Kenya’s roads if Parliament approves a Bill that seeks to introduce CCTVs to man roads across the country.

The Bribery (Amendment) Bill, 2023 seeks to introduce anti-bribery measures for the National Police Service.

The Bill, sponsored by Bomachoge Borabu MP Barango Obadiah, will require the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all areas where traffic police are stationed to eliminate the physical presence of the law enforcers.

The Bill establishes eight multi-agency command centres where CCTV footage from designated areas will be stored.

The command centres will be manned by officers nominated by the National Police Service and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

“The objective of the Bill is to amend the Bribery Act, 2016 by inserting a new section 10(A) which highlights anti bribery measures for the National Police Service,” Mr Barango told the Budget and Appropriations Committee during the scrutiny of the Bill.

“These measures include coordination of CCTV cameras in all areas where traffic police are situated, taking action against an officer accepting a bribe in the designated area, commissioning police uniforms that have no pockets and ensuring the CCTV cameras at designated traffic areas are maintained.”

The Bribery Act provides a framework for the prevention, investigation and punishment of bribery. The Act makes it mandatory for public and private entities  to put in place measures for the prevention of corruption.

“We need to remove the human interaction with motorists on our roads which has resulted in open bribery. The CCTVs will replace police officers in the designated traffic areas,” Mr Barango told the committee chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

“Police officers who will be stationed in the designated areas to man the CCTV command centres in eight regions of the country will not be allowed to move outside of the designated area.”

In 2014, the government set up a command centre to coordinate traffic operations and crime management using CCTV cameras in Nairobi. Installation of the cameras in an integrated command and control centre with several cameras in major cities cost the taxpayer over Sh20 billion.

The project involved the establishment of a command and control centre at Jogoo House and the installation of 1,800 cameras in Nairobi, Mombasa and their environs.

The command and control centre also has 80 screens and a number of telephone lines, which the officers manning it use to coordinate operations in the city.

The government has also installed an integrated camera and traffic light system in the capital and its environs.

An analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) shows that it will cost about Sh8 billion to install CCTV cameras in all designated traffic management areas across the country.

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