The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has announced a new way in which the agency will be reporting crimes on social media.
DCI starts using cartoons to narrate most captivating crime stories
The announcement was accompanied by a cartoon illustration of a recently reported crime
In an announcement on Tuesday June 28, the DCI introduced the use of cartoons and caricatures to tell select crime stories which need visual material to understand.
“Beginning this coming Sunday, DCI brings you illustrations of select crime scenes to inform, educate and entertain our audience, as we strive to better our relationship with the public and give the agency a human face,” the statement read.
The announcement was accompanied by an illustration of a recently reported crime involving a duo that attempted to rob a GSU paramilitary trainer as he was walking home after a night out.
According to the police report, the officer was returning from Mihang’o Trading Centre accompanied by two ladies who fled on seeing the attackers.
“The officer launched a barrage of blows and kicks that disfigured one of the thugs’ mandibular anatomy, sending him to the ground rolling in pain. This forced the remaining thug to draw a long knife, which he used to stab the officer, before the officer fled the scene leaving the thugs to their own devices,” the DCI narrated.
The illustration was based on the dramatic attack which saw one of the ladies loses her wigs as she fled from the scene.
The DCI's social media accounts have become a go-to source for security updates, due to the comical form of reporting that has attracted more than 1 million followers on Twitter and over 300,000 followers on Facebook.
Behind the computers sits a team of communication officials who seem to have cracked the balance between reporting crime, issuing updates and engaging Kenyans.
Speaking in a past interview, Inspector Michael Mugo, the officer in charge of DCI's Corporate Communication and Public Affairs explained how the team has achieved success.
He said that he works with 10 staff members who assume different roles within the communications unit.
DCI's Swahili security updates
Sometimes the DCI posts security updates in Swahili thanks to Mwanajum Shame who is the author of the captivating statements.
“People love the way we do it in Swahili. They even recommend that we translate all the English posts to Swahili. We always choose which ones are to be posted in either of the two languages," she said during the interview.
Her daily duties include managing the Facebook page and responding to Kenyans in the DMs.
Jonah Kimani, DCI's storyteller extraordinaire
At times the DCI updates are so compelling that it seems like a movie plot or a fiction book. Jonah Kimani is known in the department for his command of English and creativity.
Before becoming a police constable, he had hoped to become a journalist and now he gets to work in the communications team.
We give crime stories reported in the police stations across the country. Our main source is the Occurrence Books manned by the police. Every regional coordinator report to the DCI, before we check for the newsworthy reports that are reported to the public," he explained his work.
The DCI’s use of social media has not gone unrecognised.
In 2021, the Washington Post described the narration of stories posted by Kimani as 'Shakespearean'.
“Kenyans from top to bottom have embraced Twitter as their source of information…What I’ve learned is that people want thrills. You must feed your followers. That’s how the word gets out,” he told the Post in 2021.
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