Police excesses will not find comfort within the justice system: Haji

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has said his office will not relent on ensuring accountability among police officers.

The DPP who spoke at the First International Conference on Police Accountability said responsibility within the police service is paramount.

Haji said he will ensure that officers, irrespective of their position work within the laid down procedures.

DPP said his office seeks to enhance democratic and functional policing to entrench the rule of law, boost public confidence and enhance police legitimacy.

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Saying he is a strong proponent of police accountability, Haji said police excesses will not find comfort within the justice system.

“I am a strong proponent of police accountability and I can assure you, to the best of my ability, that police excesses will not find any comfort within our justice system during my tenure,” said Noordin Haji.

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He said his office is in the process of developing guidelines to guide conduct of the National Police service when enforcing the right of citizens to assemble, demonstrate, picket and petition in line with Article 37 of the Constitution.

The two day conference organized by ICJ Kenya draws participation from Civil Society, academia and Government Agencies from across Africa to discuss best practices and challenges of police accountability.

The conference which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of various policing authority with respect to the complaints against the police officers, aims to come up with a shared vision and understanding of issues that govern the relationships between communities, security agencies and the criminal justice sector.

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Noting that having a functional and accountable police service is key to a healthy criminal justice system. Police accountability is a system of internal and external checks and balances aimed at ensuring that police carry out their duties properly and are held responsible if they fail to adhere to procedure.

The conference that runs for two days has brought together the Police called on police to not only be effective in crime control, “but must also be perceived to be fair and respectful of each citizen.”

The meeting brings together, police oversight institutions, civil society actors development partners and other stakeholders to brain storm on identified issues, build confidence in one another and synergy of purpose to addressing police accountability in Africa.