The Criminal Identification Bureau is a Section of Directorate of Criminal Investigations, National Police Service.  This section is commonly known to the outside world as the Criminal Records  Office (C.R.O.), but of which the later is only a unit under the C.I.B. The section constitutes a branch of physical aspects of Forensic Fingerprints.

1909:-  the fingerprint bureau was established alongside the construction of Mathare deport

The Section became operational in early 1926 by the colonial Government under the British East African Police which was headed by Mr. Burgess, who had been seconded by Captain Tylor, who had laid its foundation block. Tylor in cooperated matters about Police records, classification, search and identification of  suspected criminals as well as accused persons.  This section started its operations and was able to positively identify individuals with   previous convictions.

During the state of emergency in Kenya (1952), a new Legislations under the state of emergency was enacted requiring all members of the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru tribes residing in Nairobi and certain areas to possess special    passbooks in which the applicants were ink-printed their fingerprints, which were filed in the Bureau.

During the height of emergency, there was an increase of Fingerprints records of mainly suspects and positively identified cases which included those of suspected escapees from lawful  custody and wanted offenders. Presently, the Bureau has grown bigger with several units under it.It has over two (2) million records of both suspects and accused persons.


This section undertakes the following activities in carrying out its core functions:

  • Custody and maintenance of Criminal Records
  • Applying Forensic Fingerprint Science Technology to analyze Palm, Finger, Foot and Toe impressions for the purpose of Issuance of Police Clearance Certificate
  • Issuance of Certificate of Previous Convictions Linking the criminal with crime scene impressions
  • Identifying of unknown dead Bodies
  • Provide forensic fingerprint expert evidence in courts of law.
  • Data compilation and report writing on crime (Statistics)
  • Compilation, Publication and Distribution of the Kenya Police Gazette
  • Establishing and maintenance of pathology files.