Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have noted with great concern the growing trend of incidents of mob justice in certain parts of country and also assault on serving police officers. I would therefore like to state the following;
ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICERS ON DUTY
The Police Service has noted with a lot of concern the increase in cases of assault against police officers while on duty. On 14th August, 2013, a police driver was mercilessly attacked by rowdy youth in Kisumu, beaten senseless and left for dead. On 15th August, 2013, a traffic police woman was again attacked not by rowdy youth but by a respectable member of the society. The police woman was attacked while doing her regular duties as per Section 54(1) (a) of the National Police Service Act: “regulate and control traffic and keep order and prevent obstruction in public places.”
We wish to remind all Kenyans that it is a criminal offence under Section 252(c) of the penal code which states: “Any person who assaults, resists or willfully obstructs any police officer in the due execution of his/her duty or any person acting in aid of that officer is guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to imprisonment for 5 years. Section 103(c) of the National Police Service Act 2010 further states that any person who attacks an animal belonging to the service or intentionally or recklessly destroys police property commits an offence.
These acts of violence go against the spirit of our constitution which guarantees that everybody is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. Police Officers like any other Kenyans have inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected. By subjecting police officers on duty to violence, the perpetrators have violated the officers’ right not to be subjected to any form of violence from either public or private sources.
In light of the foregoing, I wish to inform the public that any attacks on police officers, police animals or motor vehicles is criminal and those responsible will face full force of the law. Police Officers have a constitutional mandate to maintain law and order throughout the Republic; and should there be any complaint against them for any perceived professional misconduct, the constitution has relevant provisions for legal redress; Internal Police Oversight Authority, Internal Affairs Unit and National Police Service Commission.
I have therefore directed a thorough investigation into all cases of criminal assault against police officers and expeditious prosecution of those found responsible.
Members of the public are further urged to respect the rule of law and make use of the numerous conflict resolution avenues created by the new constitution to avoid situations which could lead this country to a state of anarchy.
USE OF FORCE / USE OF FIREARM BY POLICE
I hereby direct police officers in providing services to our customers that when their life is threatened or that of the member of the public, they must clearly understand their powers to use firearm. Members of public should note that under-section 61 of the National Police Service Act 2011 and in the 6th schedule on justifiable use of firearm, the following conditions are justifiable: – Saving or protecting the life of the officer or other person; and in self-defence or in defence of other person against imminent threat of life or serious injury. A police officer may, in certain circumstances use firearm under Section 51 Appendix 51 (A) of the Service Standing Order. The officers should also familiarize themselves with unjustifiable/justifiable use of firearm.
The public should know that of late Police officers have been restraining themselves to an- extend of them being attacked. I now caution Police officers that this should not be repeated. In order to uphold the dignity and authority vested to them by law thus cause for a total cooperation and collaboration by all members of our society.
The mandate of the National Police Service is to enforce law and order throughout the country and to provide security to the members of the public.
The Constitution of Kenya stipulates that every person has right to life.
In recent days, there has been increase in cases whereby citizens take the law into their hands and beat up or kill people suspected to be criminals. Since the beginning of the year, police records indicate that 335 cases of mob injustice have been reported, most of them fatal.
This culture of vengeance where members of the public take the law into their own hands to give “instant justice” is not only wrong in practice but also goes against the principle of constitutionalism; the rule of law.
We impress upon the public to hand over all suspects to the police, report all suspicious activities and work closely with their area station commanders for effective crime control. I call on all members of the public to work together with our law enforcement agencies in identifying the perpetrators of crime so that they are dealt with in accordance with the law.
Notwithstanding the limitations of our criminal justice system, the government is working hard to strengthen the institutional mechanism that must ensure that our system becomes more effective. One area that is receiving attention relates to the strengthening of our bail regime to deny to those suspects or accused persons who are granted bails and whilst out on bail commit crime again.
National Police Service is committed to comprehensive reforms that will ensure that policing is done in a more professional manner, following guidelines provided in our legislative framework and benchmarked against world best practices. At the moment there are police reform committees to identify areas of crime research, partners and collaborators at local and international level who can partner with the Service for better crime prevention and other reform related area.
I wish to commend all police officers countrywide for their commitment, devotion, and working tirelessly sometimes under very difficult conditions, those deployed in their frontier districts and operational areas far away from their families and loved ones, those investigations, rural and urban patrols and all those performing various assignments.
Thank you and may God Bless Kenya.
DAVID M. KIMAIYO CBS, DSM,
NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE
16th August, 2013