Effectiveness of civilian oversight on law enforcement by national police service in kenya: a case of Independent Policing Oversight Authority
Lagat, Emmanuel Kiptanui
MetadataShow full item record
Allegations of police use of excessive force, racial discrimination, unjustified shootings as well as general lack of accountability have been reported in both developed and developing nations. Many developed countries established civilian oversight authorities to investigate the complaints against police misconduct and also recommend policies that can improve the performance and welfare of police officers. In Africa, only two countries have created civilian police oversight mechanisms to investigate police misconduct. This study therefore focused at the effectiveness of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) on law enforcement by the National Police Service (NPS). The specific objectives were to assess the mandate, capacity, and strategies of Independent Policing Oversight Authority on law enforcement by National Police Service. The study also sought to identify the challenges faced by the IPOA while exercising its mandate. The study was hinged on two theories: deterrence theory and neoclassical organizational change theory. This study was conducted in Nairobi City County using a descriptive survey research design. The study targeted police officers, IPOA staff, Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) staff, Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) staff, International Jurist Mission (IJM) staff and Office of Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Staff. Yamane sample size determination formula was used and a sample size of 295 Police officers and 30 IPOA officials were picked to participate in the study. Two senior staff members from IMLU, KNHCR, IJM and ODPP were recruited as key informants. Research questionnaires and interview guide tools were used to collect data. Descriptive Techniques were used to analyze collected data. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 27 while qualitative data was subjected to content analysis. Analyzed quantitative data was presented in the form of tables while qualitative data was presented in a narrative form. The study found that regular monitoring of police operations had led to reduced abuse of power by police officers where 59.5% respondents agreed. Kenyan Police expressed confidence in the leadership demonstrated by IPOA as reported by 61.9% of the respondents. Finally, the study established that the police adherence to laws, code of conduct and operational procedures improved since the formation of IPOA as reported by 77.3% of the respondents. The study concluded that monitoring of police activities by IPOA had indeed led to most police officers observing law and order. The study recommends the community at large should be involved to make sure that IPOA plays its role effectively through reporting of different cases of crime which might have been attributed to the police officers. The findings of this study may provide insight to key policy makers on the strategies that will be employed by IPOA towards improving law enforcement practice by NPS. The study may also help build a more proactive, responsive, and professional NPS and IPOA, thus positively contributing and improving the policing environment in the country. The findings may also add to the body of knowledge that would be of help to students, academicians and researchers interested in this phenomenon of study on Civilian Oversight on law enforcement.
Africa Nazarene University