The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has called for reforms in how the National Police Service (NPS) conducts investigations citing constant interference which the agency observed, compromises the integrity of crime investigations.
While making its submissions to the National Dialogue Committee (NDC), the agency through its chairperson Anne Makori, proposed that the NPS ensure the integrity of investigations, especially at the National Police Forensic Laboratory expressing concerns that corrupt police officers are often influenced to manipulate investigations.
The agency disclosed that reports provided to them by the police are sometimes altered in favor of the officers under investigation, negatively impacting their role as an independent body.
As such, IPOA has expressed a lack of confidence in the laboratory’s current findings.
“We have made a proposal that this forensic laboratory should be given autonomy away from DCI so that it does its job. Not only for the police but there are also many other organizations that would want to use that lab including the national govt chemist and other institutions,” IPOA noted in its submissions.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah during the National Dialogue Committee meeting at Bomas on September 1, 2023.
The agency further submitted that domiciling the lab under NPS hampers IPOA’s work because the DCI is an agency under the police.
While justifying its case, IPOA referred to the case of two brothers killed in Lwanda, Vihiga County.
“Why would a professional police officer continue to inflict injury to somebody whom they have already subdued instead of either arresting the person and going and processing the crime, is it frustration inwardly?”
The agency contended that the Inspector General of Police has failed to demonstrate leadership by ensuring that the lab delivers bulletproof investigations.
In its submissions, IPOA said it has received 237 complaints with 57 deaths formally registered during the anti-government protests that rocked the country between March 2023 and July 2023.
In their submissions the authority also called for the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule in the NPS and streamlined budgetary allocation for improved policing services.
IPOA also reviewed an audit report of policing operations undertaken during the 2022 presidential elections and made recommendations towards addressing concerns on the high cost of living among Kenyans.
Anne Makori, Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA) chairperson