'Police to blame for defilement victim injustice'

Police have been blamed for the many defilement cases that have failed for lack of enough evidence to sustain their trial.

Further, the courts accused the officers of shoddy investigations and demanding for payment as a precondition for assistance.

While deciding a defilement case in 2013, Justice James Makau in Meru said police had failed to conduct prompt, and professional investigations, and protect violated girls.

In the case dubbed 'The 160 girls', that involved 11 girls from Meru, Justice Makau noted that the officers failed to conduct prompt, effective, proper, corrupt free and professional investigations into the petitioners complains.

"The police by demanding payment as a precondition for assistance, whether for fuel or P3 forms or whatever the case might have been, violated the petitioners' right to access of justice," the judge noted.

The petitioners in the case, all minors, were victims of defilement and other sexual abuses on diverse dates between the year 2008 and 2012.

On January 2012, Ripples International went to the police in a bid to have them rescue one girl who was being sexually abused, but the officers demanded Sh1,000 for their intervention.

The then Officer Commanding Station at Meru Police Station, allegedly refused to investigate the complaint claiming that it had been made late.

In a second case, a neighbour was accused of defiling a 15-year-old girl in 2011.

The case was reported at Kariene Police Station but the officers at the station allegedly declined to issue her with a P3 form insisting that they would have to wait for her to conceive as a result of the defilement. The man behind the act was neither arrested nor interrogated.

The court was told that the third girl, 8, was infected with a sexually transmitted disease after being defiled but her case never moved an inch when it was reported to the police.

At the same time, the fourth girl aged 12 years, was reportedly defiled by an Administration Police officer but his colleagues allegedly frustrated the girl's family and the case never proceeded.

A more moving testimony in the case was one of a girl who was defiled by her father for three years, between 2008 and 2011 but her reports to the law enforcement agency were never investigated.

Similar allegations were made by the rest of the girls.

"Once a report or complaint is made it is the duty of the police to move with speed and promptness, commence investigation and apprehend and interrogate the perpetrators of the offence.

The investigation must be conducted effectively," he ruled.