The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has blamed the National Police Service for the death of more than 35 civilians in the last one year. In a report detailing deaths between July last year and June this year, seen by the People Daily, the authority has accused the service of having a hand.
The study also indicts police for the 37 documented cases of harassment, intimidation, corruption and arbitrary arrests while 30 more cases are under probe by IPOA bordering police partial investigations, negligence and collusion to influence outcome of investigations.
During the period under review, six sexual-related offences were reported against the police. Two were reported between July and December last year while four more were reported between January and June this year.
This year, cases involving civilian deaths due to police action or inaction have almost tripled to 26 between January and June compared to nine recorded between July and December last year. “IPOA was established to provide oversight over the work of police on behalf of the public.
The primary objective is to hold the police to account for their actions and ensure there is infusion of professionalism in the scope of their work. Where the law is not adhered to, it is our responsibility among other State agencies to take appropriate action in accordance with their respective constitutive legislation,” said IPOA chairman Macharia Njeru through his communication officer Dennis Oketch.
Authority’s mandate The revelation comes in the wake of public outcry of police involvement in crime, notably armed robberies a vice that police top leadership, particularly Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett, is grappling with. Last week, two officers were among six charged over robbery in United Mall in Eastleigh.
Other cases against the law enforcement agencies include theft, fraud, robbery and serious injuries against civilians. Among the functions of IPOA is to monitor and investigate police operations affecting members of the public and to give appropriate recommendations.
Since its inception, IPOA has received 3,689 complaints and completed 139 investigations arising from the complaints. Between January and June alone, the authority fully investigated 59 cases, with 25 being recommended for review by the IPOA legal team and onward submission to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for prosecution.
The cases recommended for prosecution against the officers included criminal charges related to murder, assault, use of excessive force, providing false information to the authority and negligence, and non-criminal proceedings such as public inquests.
The above cases are classified into five broad thematic areas which include those involving death, assaults and unlawful detention, mid-level complaints including cases of less use of force, police inaction and failure to act and matters of minor nature and referral to other agencies.