What’s Wrong with Police Investigations?
The Kenyan Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is the authority that shall hold the Kenyan police accountable to the public, shall help the police to be professional, transparent and accountable and shall ensure independent oversight of the handling of complaints by the police service. (Sec. 5 of the IPOA Act) It has extensive powers.
For the details of the powers of investigation and information retrieval from within the police services. (Sec 7 (1) of the IPOA Act). In exceptional cases that require urgent consideration it can report directly to the National Assembly and the Cabinet Secretary. The members of the IPOA board are appointed on application in a process that involves the Kenyan President, a selection panel, the PSC (Public Service Commission) and the National Assembly. The process of selection is laid down in Sec. 11 of the IPOA Act.
An assessment worth reporting on is to be found in the latest term-end report of the IPOA: While the Independent Policing Oversight Authority claims that it diligently investigates suspected cases of Police misbehaviour, its investigations stops where the Police does not cooperate.
On page 93 of the report the IPOA writes:
Non-cooperation by the National Police Service has been one of the vastest challenges the Authority has faced. Notwithstanding numerous engagements with the NPS, the Authority has incessantly found itself in difficult circumstances to complete investigation cases due to lack of cooperation by the Service.
Complaints to the IPOA about the police can be filed through the IPOA website