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Functions Of The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)

by Zack Abuyeka

This is a list of key functions of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). IPOA was established through an act of parliament published in November 2011. Its key mission is to conduct impartial and independent investigations, inspections, audits and monitoring of the National Police Service to prevent impunity and enhance professionalism in the interest of the public. The inaugural board of IPOA was sworn into office in June 2012.

Here is a list of the key functions of IPOA.

1. To investigate deaths and injuries caused by police action

IPOA is mandated to investigate and recommend disciplinary action or prosecution, in cases that result in deaths or injuries arising from police action.

2. To investigate police misconduct

It is the key duty of IPOA to receive complaints from members of the public on police misconduct, complaints from police officers against fellow officers and undertakes investigations. It can undertake investigations on its own motion and refer cases to appropriate bodies to have its recommendations implemented.

3. To monitor, review and audit investigations and actions by the Internal Affairs Unit of the Police.

IPOA is mandated to oversee the work of the Internal Affairs Unit of the police to verify independently that the internal police system deals with complaints against officers fairly and effectively.

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4. To conduct inspections of police premises.

Police premises include police stations, police posts, detention facilities and officers’ residential areas. IPOA conducts inspections to ensure that police premises meet basic predefined standards and to ensure that the treatment of suspects and detainees is in line with the principles laid down in the constitution.

5. To monitor and investigate policing operations and deployment.

IPOA independently scrutinises policing operations that affect members of the public to ensure policing is for the benefit of the members of the public. In case the excessive use of power is detected, then IPOA conducts independent investigations and recommends remedial action.

6. To review the functioning of the internal disciplinary process

It is IPOA’s mandate to monitor the internal police disciplinary processes to ensure fairness and effectiveness and may conduct surveys to assess improvement in police accountability mechanisms.

7.Reporting

IPOA is required to prepare a report on performance every six months and an annual report to inform the public of its activities and provide recommendations for the improvement of the functioning of the National Police Service.

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