NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – Police reforms went a notch higher on Wednesday when the Inspector General David Kimaiyo launched the National Police Service Standing Orders to act as a guideline for the service and also explain how police and the public should relate.
It is the fourth edition of police standing orders since 1905.
Kimaiyo said police accountability will be enhanced and also provide new techniques of handling emerging sophisticated crimes.
In a speech read by his Deputy Grace Kaindi on Wednesday, Kimaiyo urged all stakeholders to give their feedback and participate in transforming the Kenya Police to a world class service.
“We are committed to ensure that Kenya remains a secure place for all,” she said while emphasising the need to support the Police Service as it continues with reforms.
Other than the police vetting, the Standing Orders will boost already ongoing police reforms.
The lead consultant in the project, Charles Otieno, said the new guidelines will also cover the welfare of the police officers.
“This is everything that we have been waiting for… it means that you will easily get justice,” he said. “It represents everything in terms of what we have been trying to do, in terms of police reforms. It covers issues to do with the structure, issues to do with the general provisions on how police do their duties – it is the Bible of policing in Kenya,”
He noted that, “any police officer that does not follow the Standing Orders is subject to disciplinary action. They will have to follow it.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said the National Police Service will be expected to follow the rules, to ensure the service wins back its lost confidence from the public.
“For the first time, the police Service Standing Orders are being discussed in public. I don’t call these administrative orders but I call it ‘Police Bible’ which every police officer must always have. The rights of the victim, the suspect and those of the police must always be respected whether in recruitment, appointment or disciplining police officers in accordance with the constitution.”
Independent Policing Oversight Authority Chairman Macharia Njeru said this will help the police, “appreciate their enormous responsibilities.”
As a part of reforms, the rules will also guide the Police Service on how to undertake recruitments, training and even the criteria used in promoting officers.
The Standing Orders document is a constitutional requirement that the Inspector General’s office is supposed to prepare and make available to every serving officer besides making it accessible to members of the public.