The role of information and communication technology in improving security in Kenyan urban local governments : the case of Nairobi city county
Mutunga, Jeremiah Gitau
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There is evidence both at the global, regional, and local level on the positive effects of information technology on security of countries. Despite the existence of the integrated public safety communication and surveillance system with active CCTV cameras, urban insecurity cases continue to occur in Nairobi city. The purpose of the study was to examine the role of information and communication technology in improving security surveillance in Nairobi County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the were to establish the information and communication technology security surveillance mechanisms implemented, to assess the extent to which information and communication technology security surveillance initiative has improved security and to identify the strategies that can be employed to enhance the role of information and communication technology security surveillance in improving security in Nairobi City County. The study was anchored on human security theory based on Human Development Report (UNDP, 1994). The conceptual framework was informed by the systems theory, which assumes that all components of an entity operate in a way that where there is dislocation or dysfunctional of one organ, it affects the entire system. The study adopts exploratory and evaluation research design. The study targets government officers in charge of security in the Nairobi City County. Purposive sampling and Krejcie and Morgan (1970) formulae were used to arrive at the sample of the respondents selected for the study. The study sample consisted of 378 ward respondents in selected wards in Nairobi. Data was collected via individual interviews, observations, document reviews and focus group discussions. Qualitative data was analysed thematically as they emerged from the objectives. Quantitative data was coded, cleaned and analysed using SPSS vers. 23. The study results indicated that the mechanism of implementation of CCTVs installations in Nairobi was similar as elsewhere in developed nations, despite the systems being not maintained and used as required. CCTV installation has had many roles but importantly, it has had impact in reducing crime rates reduction by up to 72.0% on average. A myriad of strategies were suggested to enhance the role of ICT in security and it included allocating more financial resources and recruiting more personnel (85.7%) among others. The study concluded that the extent to which ICT surveillance tools impact on crime rates depend on how security agencies leverage on it. The findings will be important to stakeholders in the security sector towards attainment of safe cities.