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Why Kinoti disbanded dreaded Flying Squad

By Zadock Angira
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti addresses the press at a recent event. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary

The dreaded Flying Squad, a specialised unit that struck terror in the hearts of outlaws across country, ran its course and became ineffective in discharging its mandate and thus necessitating its disbandment.

According to sources at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters, some of the officers, who were at times accused of being trigger happy, had aged and unable to conduct swift and delicate operations, especially in the dynamic crime busting beat. 

 “The unit was dreaded and there was need to form a people-friendly unit to deal with the emerging crimes,”  the  source told the People Daily.

In its place, the DCI boss George Kinoti, constituted a Special Service Unit (SSU) whose officers will undergo intense training both locally and internationally to enhance their competencies, skills and knowledge.

As a result, the officers joining the new units should not be more than 35 years and must receive specialised training.

Scale down

Among the key mandates the unit will be dealing with is the distribution of contraband and substandard food products that is said to have hit alarming levels.

The unit will also deal with armed robberies, kidnappings, motor vehicle theft, and organised crime.

Officers joining the unit are to be trained on food safety, explosives, surveillance and investigations, among other fields.

On Tuesday, Kinoti disbanded the Flying Squad unit and scaled down the Special Crime Prevention Unit (SCPU)to a smaller unit only based at the headquarters in Nairobi.  The SCPU has been renamed Special Service Unit (SSU).

The current head of the Flying Squad Musa Yego is expected to retire in June while his deputy Superintendent Jack Owino has been transferred to Embu as the local DCI boss.

About 85 officers of the ranks of Sergeant, Corporal and Constables were also on Tuesday transferred from the unit and posted to other stations across the country.

Auxiliary unit

“With effect from today, the unit has equally been disbanded. This marks the end of the Flying Squad unit and no officer will present himself or herself to the public as such,” Kinoti said

Another auxiliary support unit has been formed, the Sting Squad Headquarters (SSH) that will have a maximum of 50 specialised officers to respond to specific cases.

 “Both squads will be linked directly to the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) for intelligence-driven operations alongside other augmenting Units,” the DCI said.

In February last year, Kinoti had scaled down the Flying Squad Unit and changed the command line. 

The dreaded unit was created after increased carjacking and armed robberies in Nairobi in 1995.

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