A performance report released by The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has shown that the top complaints involving police officers reported by the public were inaction and abuse of office.
The report covering the period between January and June 2019 reveals that in the six months surveyed, the Authority received and processed a total of 1,717 complaints.
A total of 586 (34.13 percent) of the complaints received resulted from inaction and negligence of duty by police officers, followed by 286 (16.66 percent) on unethical practices and abuse of office, with a paltry 7 (0.41 percent) on enforced disappearance among others.
In the year ended 2019, there have been numerous cases of police misconduct that have been highlighted across traditional and online media.
Cases where the police have shot unarmed citizens or mercilessly beaten citizens especially in the event of demos, have been the order of the day in Kenya.
The complaints lodged to IPOA against police officers were received through walk-ins, letters, telephone calls, social media, emails, website and outreach forums.
Amongst the 8 regional offices, Nairobi recorded the highest number of complaints where 872 complaints were reported. Mombasa and Kisumu regions followed with 190 and 185 complaints respectively.
Nakuru and Kakamega had the lowest number of complaints against police officers with IPOA attributing the low rate to lack of awareness on how to report police misconduct.
“The Authority is enhancing outreach activities targeting the public and the NPS members in regions with low numbers of complaints to create awareness on its mandate,” said IPOA.
Of the 1,717 complaints reported to IPOA, the highest number of complaints i.e. 1,418 (82.59 percent), were from the members of the public as compared to only 56 (3.26 percent) from police officers.
The 56 complaints received from the Police officers were largely centered on unfair or illegal dismissals from the Service, illegitimate or arbitrary transfers, illegal termination, failure to be promoted, unfair allocation of housing, unfair orderly room proceedings, forced resignation and unfair treatment by senior officers.
The Authority reports that it conducted a total of 390 investigations in the period between January and June. Out of these, 134 case files were fully investigated and recommendations made.
Cases involving deaths, rape, harassment, stealing, malicious damage of property, extortion, and threat to life and assault causing grievous harm were forwarded to the ODPP.
As of 30th June 2019, IPOA reports that 67 case files were before courts, 2,003 case files were under investigation while 1,622 were pending investigations.
IPOA has since called upon the National Assembly and the National Treasury to increase funding allocation to enhance investigations through additional personnel, specialized equipment and operational and maintenance costs.