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Police brutality still on the rise despite interventions by IPOA

By Michael Chepkwony | November 7th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Misuse of power by the police has increased since 2013, a survey by Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has revealed.

The End-Line Survey 2019 conducted in 36 counties indicated that abuse by the police rose to 46.2 per cent this year compared to 30.4 per cent in 2013 when a similar assessment was conducted.

The study involved 5,900 respondents and 450 police officers.

The increase is a shocker considering anticipated decline in cases of police brutality after the establishment of Ipoa in 2011, whose mandate is to provide civilian oversight of police work in the country.

The report released yesterday also indicated a drop in the number of cases touching on rogue police reported to the authority. In 2013, the report showed there were 30 per cent reported cases compared to the current 28 per cent.

According to the chairman of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security Paul Koinange, the decline on reported cases should prompt Ipoa to devise more efficient means of netting rogue police officers.

Serve people

“Ipoa must do work more efficiently. It has to be more visible on the ground. Go out and see how police serve people,” said Koinange, who was present during the launch of the report at KICC yesterday.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said there have been an acrimonious relationship between National Police Service and Ipoa that undermined the latter’s performance in the past, but noted that the differences had been resolved.

“We will not be the excuse for your failure. We shall support you as we proceed with the transformation of the police force into police service,” Dr Matiang’i told Ipoa when he led the launch of its ambitious Strategic Plan 2019-2024.

Despite the ambitious plan launched yesterday, Ipoa faces an uphill task, including under-staffing, which threatens to water down its mandate.

As at June 2019, the strategic plan disclosed that Ipoa had 218 members of staff against a proposed 326. It is only the CEO’s office that has the required number of staff.

The function was attended by Chief Administrative Secretary for Interior Patrick ole Ntutu, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Ipoa chairperson Anne Makori and Ipoa chief executive Maina Njoroge, among others.


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