Kenya registers high number of complaints against the police

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The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has disclosed that complaints against police officers have risen since 2011.

IPOA was established in 2011 to conduct independent and impartial investigations, inspections, audits, and monitoring of the National Police Service to enhance professionalism and discipline in the police service.

Appearing before the Senate Joint Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and Security to answer questions on the conduct of police when enforcing Covid-19 regulations on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, the authority chairperson Anne Makori the number of complaints against the officers has risen by 83.4 percent from 594 in 2012 to 3583 in 2021.

“In the period under review, IPOA conducted 956 investigations. Some 200 investigation case files were forwarded to the ODPP for further processing, while 98 cases were before the courts as of June 30, 2021,” said Anne Makori.

According to her, the officers are accused of murders, enforced disappearances, sexual offences, police inaction, abuse of office, physical assault, and harassment.

IPOA has made tremendous progress in investigating cases as statistics show that the number of investigated cases has escalated from 27 in 2012 to 956 in 2021.

However, the authority is facing numerous challenges, which hinders it from executing its mandates effectively.

They include inadequate budget allocation, witness withdrawal due to intimidation, non-cooperation by some suspect officers and their colleagues, and fear of reprisals and out-of-court settlement.

Others are delays in reviewing files from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and parallel investigations by IPOA and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

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