IPCMC: An effective and efficient mechanism to address police accountability

PRESS STATEMENT: 20 JUN 2012

IPCMC: An effective and efficient mechanism to address police accountability

SUARAM disagree with the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohammed Nazri Aziz on the 12 Jun 2012 in Bernama who mentioned that the government has no plans to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Nazri mentioned that the formation of Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) last year April 1 is sufficient to investigate complaints of misconduct by the enforcement personnel.

SUARAM hereby refers to the British accountabilty mechanism that recognise both the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over and above the general Ombudsman and other complaints mechanism. Suaram is of the view that the learning from the British jurisdiction points out for a specific independent external mechanism as per the recognition of the needs for special focus on the biggest and most important public enforcement service and the degree of power vested being different from other enforcement agencies.

Suaram therefore of the view that the police agency is the agency the public come into contact the most and recognising the massive structure and deployed forces, it is paramount for a specialised external oversight mechanism to be placed to ensure effectiveness and effeciency in terms of addressing and investigating complaints.

We are of the view that the IPCMC is the best agency to oversee the misconducts of the police force as the Commission does not only complaints but to also conduct studies and prescribe procedures and guidelines to the force that requires specific knowledge and focus .

SUARAM in its documentation and monitoring receives scores of complaints about police abuse of powers and brutality over the years. The recent will be the death in custody (DIC) of Isparan a/l Subramaniam from Sungai Siput, Perak on 29 May 2012. On April 2012, there was case of trigger happy police shooting 3 youths at Cheras.

SUARAM also fears that the denial of establishing IPCMC as per the recommendation by the Royal Commission proves the government’s lack of political will to reform the police force and add legal accountability on the perpetrators.SUARAM once again calls for the government to revive the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). It is high time for the government to implement its own findings initiated through the Royal Commission and make a stand in reforming its police force by implementing IPCMC without any further delay.

Released by,
R. Thevarajan
Right to Justice Coordinator

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