Functions of the Inspector General of Police

The functions of the Inspector General of Police in Kenya are important for the overall command of the National Police Service. The Kenyan Constitution establishes the office the Inspector General of Police in Kenya in Article 245.

The President appoints the Inspector General of Police with the approval of Parliament. The person should exercise independent command over the National Police Service and perform any other functions prescribed by national legislation.

The National Police Service Act contains further provisions on the Office including the powers and functions of the Inspector General in Kenya.

The Inspector-General should be appointed for a single four-year term and is not eligible for re-appointment. The person is in charge of the overall and independent command of the National Police Service.

Independent command of the Inspector-General means that the Inspector-General should be responsible for all matters relating to the command and discipline of the National Police Service. However, this is subject to the disciplinary control of the National Police Service Commission.

Therefore, the Inspector General is the head of the National Police Service in Kenya. The Inspector-General should exercise Command over the National Police Service and lawfully administer, control and manage the National Police Service as a disciplined Service.

The Cabinet secretary responsible for police services may lawfully give a direction to the Inspector-General with respect to any matter of policy for the National Police Service, but no person may give a direction to the Inspector-General with respect to the-

  • investigation of any particular offence or offences;
  • enforcement of the law against any particular person or persons; or
  • employment, assignment, promotion, suspension or dismissal of any member of the National Police Service.

Any direction given to the Inspector-General by the Cabinet secretary responsible for police services, or any direction given to the Inspector-General by the Director of Public Prosecutions under Article 157(4) of the Constitution, should be in writing.

Qualifications for the appointment of Inspector-General of Police in Kenya

A person should be qualified for appointment as Inspector-General if such person—

  • is a citizen of Kenya;
  • holds a degree from a university recognized in Kenya;
  • has had a distinguished career in their respective fields;
  • meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution (on Leadership and Integrity);
  • has served in a senior management position for at least fifteen years and has knowledge and experience in matters relating to any of the following disciplines—
    • criminal justice;
    • policy development and implementation;
    • finance and public administration;
    • strategic management;
    • security;
    • law;
    • sociology; or
    • Government.

No person should be qualified for appointment as Inspector-General if the person—

  • is a member of Parliament (National Assembly, the Senate or Women’s Representative) or a County Assembly, a Governor or Deputy Governor;
  • has served as a member of Parliament, County Assembly, trade union or an office in a political party in Kenya in the preceding five years;
  • has previously been convicted of any criminal offence;
  • has violated the Constitution; or
  • is an undischarged bankrupt.

Powers and functions of the Inspector-General in Kenya

The functions of the Inspector-General of Police in Kenya should be to—

  • implement policy decisions;
  • audit of police operations and functioning;
  • co-ordinate all police operations;
  • advise the Government on policing matters and services;
  • prepare budgetary estimates and develop a policing plan before the end of each financial year, setting out the priorities and objectives of the service and the justification thereof;
  • determine the establishment and maintenance of police stations, posts, outposts, units or unit bases in the county and determine the boundaries of the police stations, outposts or unit bases;
  • determine the distribution and deployment of officers in the Service and recommend to the National Police Service Commission and the County Policing Authorities;
  • organize the National Police Service at the national level into various formations, units or components;
  • recommend the establishment of, manage and maintain training institutions, centres or places for the training of officers joining the service and other officers;
  • commission research and benchmark against best practices;
  • issue guidelines on community policing and ensure co-operation between the Service and the communities it serves in combating crime;
  • provide the command structure and system of the Service taking into consideration the recommendation of the Service Board (see Section 21 of the National Police Service Act) for the efficient administration of the Service nationally;
  • subject to the Constitution and the National Police Service Act. or any written law, cooperate with and implement the decisions of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority including compensation to victims of police misconduct;
  • designate any police station, post, outpost, unit or unit base as a place of custody;
  • designate from among the county commanders in each county the most Senior Officer from either the Kenya Police Service or the Administration Police Service, who should coordinate in consultation with the two Deputy Inspector-Generals, the operational command and control of the county, and the officer so designated should, with respect to coordination, execute operational command and control in a manner that respects the command structure set out in Article 245(3) of the Constitution;
  • promote co-operation with international police agencies;
  • establish and devolve the services of the Internal Affairs Units that are able and equipped to conduct investigations into police misconduct in a fair and effective manner and report directly to the Inspector-General;
  • monitor the implementation of policy, operations and directions of the National Police Service;
  • issue and document the National Police Service Standing Orders;
  • cooperate with other public or private bodies to provide reliable police statistics on crime rates, detection rate, public confidence in the police, number of complaints against the police, as well as personnel statistics;
  • act on the recommendations of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, including compensation to victims of police misconduct; and
  • perform any other lawful act on behalf of the National Police Service.

Removal of the Inspector General of Police from Office

The Inspector-General of Police in Kenya may be removed from office by the President only on the grounds of-

  • serious violation of this Constitution or any other law, including a contravention of Chapter Six;
  • gross misconduct whether in the performance of the office holder’s functions or otherwise;
  • physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office;
  • incompetence;
  • bankruptcy; or
  • any other just cause.

For more about the functions of the Inspector General of Police in Kenya, and other roles and provisions, see Part II the National Police Service Act.

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