Counter-Terrorism Security Interventions in Kenya: Effect of Public Security Screening On Social Relations in Nairobi County

Abstract

Public security screening is a counter-terrorism strategy that involves searches and personal checks on people who seek to access buildings and other premises. The aim of the study was to establish the nature of counter-terrorism security intervention strategies and their influence on social relations in Nairobi County Kenya. Based on the study, this paper examines the influence of public security screening strategy on social relations. The study was informed by structural functionalism theory, balance scorecard theory and social identity theory. Mixed methods research design by use of concurrent triangulation technique was adopted. The study used a sample size of 384 respondents. Of these, 361 were heads of households, 15 were members of Nairobi County Security Board and 8 were survivors of terrorism acts. Convenient sampling technique was used to select heads of the households, purposive sampling techniques to identify members of Nairobi County Security Board and snowball sampling to identify terror survivors. Key informants interview schedule as well as interview schedule were employed as methods of data collection. The data collected was subsequently analysed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The results of the study indicated that public security screening in business buildings and other premises exist with the intention of securing public safety and permission to enter the building thus suspicion of individuals. The strategy relies on the cooperation of the public. The strategy presumes that every person seeking access to such spaces is a potential perpetrator and or victim of terrorism. Initially, the introduction of screening attracted mixed views. Some thought screening implied that one was a terror suspected. Screening has also affected social relations by rousing and increasing suspicion among citizens. In some cases, screening has been reported to compromise on the privacy of people. Consequently, to enhance its effectiveness, governments should enhance the laws on public security screening to elicit a sense of respect for privacy and subsequent cooperation among the public in its utilization.

Keywords: Effect, Kenya, Nairobi County, counter-terrorism security interventions, public security screening, social relations

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 22-32 (Download PDF)

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