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Kenya, Check police, police force should be no exception

Check police excesses

Publication Date: 3/20/2008

Reform of the Police Force has been a subject of discussion because of the need to transform it into a responsive outfit to match modern governance and security practices.

As currently constituted, the police follow some outdated practices such as use of excessive force and even torture to extort confessions from suspects.

The recent violence that followed the presidential election dispute brought out the worst in the Force. Many officers were ruthless in the way they handled demonstrators, and on many occasions executed harmless protesters. They have also gained a notoriety for corruption, extortion, ruthlessness, and other malpractices.

This is not to say that little good comes from the Force. Far from it. Police officers have, on many crucial occasions, lived up to expectations and defied danger to save life.

Given the essential role they play in keeping law and order, it is necessary for them to operate under certain rules and regulations. To do that effectively, they require an oversight board to check their operations.

Quite often, officers rub people the wrong way, but there is hardly ever any redress. An aggrieved person is required to report any complaint against an officer’s conduct to his or her colleagues, a good reason why very few people report about police brutality.

We therefore encourage the resolve to set up a team that the public can resort to whenever they are aggrieved. There must be checks and balances in any system and the Police Force should be no exception.

Write to the author

About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.


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