Painting Your House With Police Station Colours; What the Law Says

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    Officers on duty at a police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2019
    File
  • Police officers are mandated by law to storm into your house or business premise if they have a reasonable cause to believe that you have improperly used an emblem, a name or likenesses. 

    This encompasses painting your house with police station colours which seemingly alludes to your premise being one. 

    A debate recently ensued online on whether one can paint their homestead in the exact order of a police station's colour, white, navy blue, red and yellow, or if the format can be interchanged. 

    The satire within the posts was visible with a majority joking that they’d even use A4 books as Occurrence Books (OBs). 

    Undated image of An entrance to a Police Station
    An image of a police station in Kenya
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Under the National, Flag, Emblems and Names Act, anyone within the territory of Kenya is barred from using police station colours. 

    It states that, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, no person shall, use any specified emblem, specified name or specified likeness, or any colourable imitation thereof, in furtherance of, or display the same as an advertisement for, any trade, business, calling or profession."

    It adds that, “One cannot use any specified emblem, specified name or specified likeness, or any colourable imitation thereof, in the title of any patent, or in any trademark or design, except with the written permission of the Minister (of Interior).”

    If found contravening these provisions and also found guilty, you are liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh5,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both. 

    “After searching your premises,  a police officer will require you to afford him all reasonable facilities for a search thereof, and if entry cannot within a reasonable period be so obtained the officer may without a warrant enter the premises (using force if necessary) and search therein,” the Act adds. 

    “He may seize that thing, and where he does so shall bring it before a magistrate, who shall order it to be forfeited if he is satisfied that it has been used, displayed, manufactured or imported contrary to this Act, or else shall order it to be restored to the person from whom it was seized,” it further mandates the police. 

    In 2019, the National Police Service (NPS) warned that civilians face arrest if found wearing attire resembling police or military uniform as it was sparking confusion among members of the public, thus contributing to insecurity. 

    The same order was reiterated in 2020 when police introduced new blue uniforms

    Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i inspects a guard of honour during a passing out parade for 1,224 officers in December 2019
    Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i inspects a guard of honour during a passing out parade for 1,224 officers in December 2019
    File
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