Failure by the police to act on incidents reported to them is what drove majority of Kenyans to seek redress at the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

This is according to the January – June 2022 IPOA report; it shows the bulk of complaints were inaction and negligence of duty.

These were followed by unethical practices by the police including abuse of office, harassment, physical assault occasioning serious injury, corruption and extortion and wrongful detention respectfully.

The January to June 2022 performance report by the Authority shows that most complainants (795) physically visited IPOA offices countrywide. A high number of complaints were also filed through letters (322), telephone (224), direct mail (164), the Call Centre (141), social media (49) and through the IPOA website (46).

The Complaints Department of the Authority also handled a number of complaints through own motion, meaning that it initiated 42 investigations into police excesses without necessarily having a filed complaint. Notification of death by the police also formed 25 cases received and processed by the Authority.

Out of the 1,813 complaints that were received during the period, 1,599 were from members of the public while 67 were from police officers. State actors filed 60 complaints while non-state actors filed 41.

The Authority’s Case Intake Committee, charged with determining how complaints will be processed, made recommendations for investigations, inspections and monitoring, and referred some to other state agencies for further action, depending on the nature of complaint.

Out of the total cases filed, 876 were recommended for preliminary inquiry. Another 451 were recommended for investigations, while 242 others were recommended for inspection and monitoring.

At least 191 complaints were closed due to withdrawal by complainants, matters already being before court, not actionable and due to insufficient information.

During the period, IPOA referred a total of 9 complaints to the Internal Affairs Unit of the National Police Service. The IAU in turn sent feedback to IPOA on 22 cases referred to them.

The IPOA headquarters received the most complaints, followed by Mombasa, Kisumu, Garissa, Eldoret , Kakamega, Nyeri, Meru and Nakuru regions respectively.