• May 22, 2024
  • Last Update May 22, 2024 11:54 AM
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Police in Murang’a trained on their role in child care reforms

Police in Murang’a trained on their role in child care reforms


Monday, April 22, 2024

KNA by Purity Mugo

Police in Murang’a have been educated on their role in the National Care Reform Strategy for Children as stipulated in the Children Act, 2022 as part of a multisectoral approach in the implementation of the Act.

Addressing police officers at a Murang’a hotel, the county children’s officer, Peter Nzeva said that there is need for continuous engagement of stakeholders on the changes made to the children’s act so as to ensure its proper implementation.

The children’s officer divulged that the act was set to be implemented within 10 years starting 2022 to 2032 and it is therefore important for the Directorate of Children Services (DCS) to engage the police since they as key stakeholders.

“We need everyone to be on board as we implement these care reforms stipulated in the act and therefore all stakeholders need to understand their roles,” Nzeva reiterated.

The children Act, 2022 is an act of Parliament that makes provision for children rights, parental responsibility, alternative care of children including guardianship, foster care placement and adoption.

It also makes provision for care and protection of children and children in conflict with the law, regulation of the administration of children services and establishment of the National Council for Children’s Services.

Nzeva noted that it is important for police officers to follow the right procedures whenever they deal with matters involving children whether those children are in conflict with the law or they need care and protection.

“Among children in need of care and protection we have orphans, abandoned children, children facing the risk of being radicalised, children from dysfunctional families and children who are witnesses or victims of a crime,” he clarified.

Nzeva informed the officers on other sections of the act including the right of privacy of child offenders that prohibits release of information in relation to child offenders and the increment of the age of criminal liability from 8 to 12 years.

The officer explained that the care reforms were necessitated by among other reasons research that showed separating children from their families seriously harms their health and development.

Timothy Oyoo of Stahili Foundation, one of the partners in child welfare, also informed the police officers on their roles and mandate in the implementation of the National Care Reforms Strategy for children.

He explained that according to the Children Act 2022, a police officer is an authorised officer and is given relative power to intervene in children issues to their best interests and that the police officer designated to handle children cases needs to collaborate with the DCS to ensure safety of the children in the Child Protection Unit (CPU) within the stations.

He added that a police representative is mandated to form part of the children advisory committee at the devolved levels and participate in gatekeeping on children’s issues and that each police station will establish a child protection unit and assign an officer to it and its operation be guided by the set regulations.

Oyoo said that the officers will be required to physically escort children that are in conflict with the law to court and back to remand homes as needed.

“Within 24 hours of committal, police officers should escort children who have been committed to rehabilitation schools,” he said,“Also, the officers should notify the children’s officer and guardian within 24 hours after rescue or arrest of an alleged child offender,” he added.

Oyoo further divulged that the inspector general is directed to constitute a special police unit with the duties to deal with children’s matters, prevent and control child offenses, apprehend child offenders and investigate child offenses.

He informed the officers that other related general roles of police include supporting case workers in ensuring their security during rescue operations.

They should also ensure the apprehension of perpetrators of child abuse and carry out conclusive investigations in such cases as well as support other gate keepers in maintaining law and order that leads to upholding of the rights of children.

He noted that it is important for police officers to continuously familiarise themselves with the children’s act 2022 and actively play their designated role in the implementation of the care reforms.

Courtesy; KNA

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