IPOA calls for reforms in the National Police Service as they detail how corrupt officers manipulate forensic investigations.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has criticized The National Police Service (NPS for its continual intervention in investigations, which the agency believes impairs its objectivity.
Through its submissions to the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) by chairperson Anne Makori, the agency recommended that the NPS ensure the integrity of investigations, particularly at the National Police Forensic Laboratory, expressing concerns that corrupt police officers are frequently persuaded to manipulate investigations.
The agency admitted that occasionally the police reports they give them altered evidence to the detriment of the officers under investigation, which has a negative effect on their capacity to act independently.
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.
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 Inspector General of Police, according to IPOA, has failed to exhibit leadership by making sure that the lab produces 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.
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.