Increase the police-citizen ratio from 1:1,150 to a ratio of 1:800 citizens within five years


  • When made: 2013
  • Where made: Party manifesto

The police-population ratio indicates the number of police officers serving a community, relative to its size. For example, if a community has 1 police officer serving 100 people, the ratio is 1:100.

The 1:1,150 police-citizen ratio dates back to at least 2007 when the International Monetary Fund calculated it in a national poverty reduction plan.

Kenya’s National Police Service is composed of the Kenya Police Service, the Administrative Police Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation. (Note: The UN considers only the Kenya Police as police personnel, but Kenyan law provides for all three branches.)

There were 90,442 police officers in Kenya at the end of the 2015/2016 financial year, according to the most recent report by the National Police Service Commission, which hires the officers.

Kenya had 46.6 million people in 2017, the national statistics office said in its 2018 economic survey.

Some 20,000 more officers added

In January 2017, there were 98,732 police officers in Kenya, according to a speech by the country’s president. This was a ratio of 1:471. 

In November 2018, the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet put the figure at 105,000 in an interview with Citizen TV. This number is also contained in the exit report of the members of the police service commission. With the figure, the ratio works out to 1: 443.

Analysts have at various times told Africa Check that when judging police effectiveness, it is far more important to focus on the quality of policing than ratios. -Africa Check, November 2018

Source: Jubilee Party 2013 Manifesto

Update: Kenya’s police-to-population ratio falls

New estimates show increase in population size

The reform of Kenya’s police service has seen it reorganised and pay increased. (See:

These changes are intended to better serve citizens, according to the National Police Service.

The changes would see the Kenyan Police Service have 80,773 officers. These include officers from existing units and those transferred from the Administration Police Service (64,252), the General Service Unit (10,804) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (5,717).

This brings the total to 105,553 officers as of September 2018. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics told Africa Check there were an estimated 47.8 million people in 2018.

Using this population estimate, Kenya's most recent police-to-population ratio comes to a lower 1:453.

Africa Check, 14 March, 2019