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Police officer with mental health issues goes missing from his home

A family in Kisii County is looking for their kin who went missing from his home in Giachere, Nyaribari Chache.

Mr Danvas Omwenga, a serving police officer, went missing from his home on May 26, 2023 and was seen heading towards Kisii town.

The family said that he was not mentally stable and anyone who would have information that will lead to his whereabouts should inform the nearest police station.

“He is mentally challenged but always identifies himself as a police officer. He is however unable to recall direction to his home at Riomweri,” the family said in the statement.

The mental health of police officers in the country has become a major concern in recent times and even caught the attention of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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In April, a police officer was reported to have gone missing at Maralal Referral Hospital in Samburu County.

Ms Hellen Chepkoskei had been taken to the medical facility by a colleague who noticed she was disturbed and appeared depressed.

She was later found on May 3, 2023 at their home in Nandi County and she informed the family that she decided to walk home from her work place.

“My sister has just been found, she says she walked all the way from Maralal to our house,” said Ms Ruth Cherono, the elder sister.

In the past, the National Police Service (NPS) has said that a third of police officers in the country are heavy drinkers.

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It also said that a large number of officers across all ranks are also servicing loans which leave them with less than a third of their monthly salary, forcing them to resort to corrupt practices to make ends meet.

A recent survey by the National Police Service established that at least 12,000 police officers are facing mental health challenges arising from out of work-related issues. This means that between 12 and 13 per cent of 110,000 police officers in the country have mental issues.

NPSC chief executive Joseph Onyango said the figures are a reflection of the global trend.

“The mental cases out of the recent assessment is almost trending towards the figure of 12 to 13 per cent of the total population of the officers. It’s trending toward the global figures,” Onyango said.

He said the service is focusing on dealing with the issue of mental health which is taking a toll on the officers’ performance and is on the rise.

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