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Police boss says officers need forensic resources to combat crime

BUSINESS
By | August 12th 2011

By Moses Njagih

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has warned that it would be difficult for the police to measure up to the requirements of a prudent criminal justice system with the equipment they currently have.

Iteere said during the launch of the National Council on the Administration of Justice that it would be in vain for Kenyans to expect the police to undertake their duties without the department having necessary facilities like forensic laboratory equipments.

The police boss said this as Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo called for the amendment of the Judicature Act to increase the number of High Court and Court of Appeal judges to 120 and 30 respectively, for efficient dispensation of justice.

Kilonzo further challenged the Judiciary to ensure that at least a judge is in every county to ensure the public has easy access to justice.

"As a ministry, we will support measures to increase the number of judges and posting of higher judicial officers to every county. This is the only way we can speed access to justice," said Kilonzo. At the forum, Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza, Attorney General Amos Wako and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko said having a speedy justice system is attainable.

Iteere, however, noted it would be difficult for his force to cope with the requirements and demands of a reliable system of justice with the current equipment.

Forensic capacity

"I can authoritatively inform this gathering that with the kind of resources police are using, I don’t see how the country can achieve the criminal justice system we deserve," said the commissioner.

He added: "To move the police to the desired level, we need to adopt a strategy that identifies the police with the rest of the criminal justice system and the society’s crime management needs."

Besides a properly trained and well-motivated personnel, Iteere said scientific aids to criminal investigations must be availed within reach of crime scenes countrywide.

"While we have talked about forensic laboratory at the CID headquarters, the reality is that we require basic forensic capacity in every county headquarters, with a national referral forensic facility at the headquarters," added Iteere.

Tobiko said the problem in the justice system has been caused by different arms working in isolation, a move that had led to apportioning of blame whenever the system has failed.

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