Alarm Raised As Suicide Among Police Officers Spike In Kenya

Alarm Raised As Suicide Among Police Officers Spike In Kenya

Cases of suicide among police officers in Kenya have been on the increase in recent past.

A police officer shot himself dead in Garissa Monday just hours after a prison warder committed suicide in Mwea after killing a police officer in a bitter love triangle.

The two incidents follow Saturday night’s incident in Nairobi’s Kamukunji Police Station where a police officer shot a female colleague dead and injured another during an argument before he fled the station while wielding an AK47 rifle.

He was later hunted down and shot dead by colleagues, even though police claimed he shot himself dead as they tried to arrest him after shooting him on the leg.

The three incidents and several reported in recent weeks have raised serious concerns, prompting action from the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) which announced Monday that it had established what its Chairman Eliud Kinuthia described as a “tailor-made psychosocial and relationship support of police officers which remain our first priority.”

Experts have identified psychological challenges as a major contributor of increased suicide cases among officers.

In the Mwea incident, a police officer was shot dead by a prison warder who is reported to have found him in the house of a woman in an apparent love triangle. The woman is also a prison warder.

The warder later turned the gun on himself, dying on the spot.

In Garissa, police said a police officer identified as Peter Kiprono shot himself dead on Monday afternoon using a G3 rifle issued to him for official duties. There was no immediate report on what might have led him to commit suicide.

Police Headquarters has not commented on the increased suicide cases involving police officers.

An attempt by former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to address the challenges did not yield much and a report commissioned to establish the cause of the suicide among police officers three years ago was never made public.