Kenya: Lipstick, Long Earrings Banned in Police Service

Police officers have been barred from applying lipstick, or wearing fashionable clothes, bangles, and big earrings while on duty. In a circular issued late July on behalf of the Deputy Inspector General of the Kenya Police Service, Grace Kaindi, officers were told that some items of clothing and accessories were tarnishing the good name of the service.

The circular reference C/CUS/VOL.VIII/16G warns that any officer found with the banned items will have breached Force Standing Order CAP 37and the National Police Service Act 2011 Section 87-88 and will be liable to punishment.

The issue was among other disciplinary matters discussed during the County Commanders meeting held at the Police Pavilion in Nairobi’s South C estate on July 23 2013.

“Issues of Police misconduct were raised and the most noticeable one was a matter on how some of police officers wear uniform. It was noted with a lot of concern that male police officers wear different types of socks, unmarching long trousers, coloured visible vests an bangles among other metals, whereas women officers have dreadlocks, “afro” hair, big earrings, unnecessary bangles and lipstick. Fashionable wear is only good when one is on leave,” the circular signed by Leo N Ijora on behalf of Kaindi says.

“It is a misconduct whose consequences calls for stern disciplinary action. You are directed to adhere to the laid down dress code as stipulated on FSO CAP 37 and National Police Service Act 2011 Section 87-88 with immediate effect,” the circular sent on July 30 2013 says.

All county commanders have been instructed to send the directive to all police officers, police stations and patrol bases countrywide with immediate effect. Emphasis is being especially put on officers on duty at the Report Office and Inquiry Desks.

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