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CJS Seminar: Kamau Wairuri

kenya police


Moot Court Room,
Old College


Wed 14 February 2024

The Crime, Justice & Society Seminar Series presents

“We know that he is gay, but how do we prove it?”: Police officer perspectives on the policing of queer people in Kenya"

Dr Kamau Wairuri (Edinburgh Napier University)

About the event

This paper presents the findings of an exploratory field study to examine the perspectives and attitudes of police officers in Kenya towards queer people and their policing. The study finds that police officers hold differing and divergent views on queer people and have different opinions on how they should be policed. While queer rights activists decry the legal provisions that prohibit same-sex relations and engender a homophobic and transphobic culture in the country, the study finds that police officers are often frustrated by the difficulty of prosecuting individuals they suspect to be queer under these legal provisions. Building on the work of scholars like Didier Fassin (2019), the study also shows that policing is not just shaped by the law but by other sociological factors including the religious beliefs that police officers’ hold.


Dr Kamau Wairuri is a policy-oriented researcher who examines the politics of policing, violence and criminal justice in Africa. Presently, he is a Lecturer in Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University. He holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science and Sociology) from the University of Nairobi.

This event is hybrid.

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