Deputy President William Ruto has asked police chiefs in Eastern Africa region to adopt hi-tech communications in the fight against terrorism and other emerging criminal activities.
Mr. Ruto said police should embrace modern technology to contain transnational organized crimes.
Speaking during the official opening of the 17th Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Organisation (EAPCCO) at a Naivasha hotel, the Deputy President said technology was vital in monitoring, detecting and preventing crime.
“Security chiefs in East Africa must take advantage of technology in the fight against transnational crime,” said Mr. Ruto.
“Criminals have become more sophisticated and you need to devise ways of being ahead of them if we are to contain acts of lawlessness,” he added.
He went on: “It is through embracing technology that you can remain persistent, resilient and cultivate the priceless agility to anticipate the criminal’s next move.”
Mr. Ruto said there was need for security agencies to continuously review their approaches in the fight against crime if they were to remain relevant on matters of security.
“We are in a world that is increasingly being driven by technology and security agencies should not lag behind. You must revise your strategies to suit the changing trends in crime around the world,” said Mr. Ruto.
“We have no option as security chiefs but to go digital following changes taking place in the world so that we can confront those undermining peace efforts,” he added.
The Deputy President said security challenges in the sector demanded law enforcement officers work together in addressing insecurity in the region.
“We must take measures to continually enhance and foster cooperation at all levels if we are to realise sustainable peace and security and promote economic development,” said Mr. Ruto.
Mr. Ruto challenged the officers to develop practical strategies in containing insecurity.
“The security challenges of our region demand that we develop practical strategies and work together in addressing such challenges,” he said.
Mr. Ruto said as the region moves towards full integration, there was need to ensure criminal elements who interfere with peace in the region were eliminated.
The Deputy President said terrorism was a challenge not only among the African countries but also the rest of the world.
“Terrorist activity is a real and present danger to each of our countries. Given the mobility of terror cells, our best hope at victory is a combined effort,” he said.
“The work of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in stabilizing Somalia is a perfect illustration of this principle in practice,” he added.
He said governments in the region were ready and committed to enact laws that were necessary to raise the dream of integration.
Inspector General of Police Service Joseph Boinett said EAPCCO member countries should uphold proposals of the organization to achieve its security targets.
Representative of the Secretary General, Interpol, Ms. Elizabeth Kuteesa called on security agencies in the region to come up with a roadmap to decisively deal with crime.
The five-day meeting, brought together security chiefs from 13 countries from the Eastern Africa region.
Senate’s Committee chairman on Security Yusuf Haji and a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Security Mr. Ben Shinali were also present.