Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, on Friday, November 11, ordered police to use their firearms in certain instances while discharging their duties.
Koome, while speaking at the Supreme Court premises, noted that police can draw their weapon during self-defence or deter a suspect from escaping or being rescued.
The National Police Service Act Sections 61 (2), Act No. 11 of 2014 of the Constitution, stipulates instances when a police officer is allowed to use a firearm.
Firearms may only be used when other less extreme containment measures prove inadequate.
A file image of guns and bullets
(COURTESY) Protection of Life
A police officer is trained to use non-violent means first when saving or protecting another person’s life.
Before firing a weapon, an officer is advised to first exhaust all other options and ensure the seriousness of the offence is equal to the intended objective.
“It is in the law under the National police Service Act and we are there to protect any police officer who uses a firearm under those circumstances,” Koome affirmed.
An officer is permitted to use his weapon in cases of self-defence or defence of another person.
The need for police to protect themselves is paramount in the face of an imminent threat to life or when accosted and is likely to incur a grave injury.
Protection of property is justified by law, although an officer must try to avoid using a firearm, especially against children.
An officer intending to fire his weapon is mandated to identify themselves and give a warning of their intention to fire while offering sufficient time for the warning shot to be adhered to.
Law enforcers are given the go-ahead to rely on their firearms when preventing a person charged with a felony from escaping lawful custody.
This applies to convicted felons who attempt to escape the confines of prison.
“Anybody charged with committing a felony, murder, or rape attempts to escape, an officer can use a firearm.” Koome authorised.
Rescuing Convicted Felons
When citizens interfere with the rule of law and resort to attempting to rescue convicted persons, they seal their fate to face the officer’s nozzle.
“If an officer has arrested someone who has committed a felony, then you attempt to rescue that person, the police can use their firearm too.” Koome declared.
Despite the defined provisions that allow the use of force, if the action leads to death, serious injury or other grave consequences, the officer is prescribed to report immediately to a superior and later to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), which shall investigate the case.
Kenya police officers during a previous operation.
Kenyans.co.ke weapon death gun fire murder arrest suspect rape