Survey conducted in the Kilimanjaro region has revealed that more than half (58.2%) of the questioned persons believe that they can get police assistance short of extending a bribe.
The survey also showed that 95.5 per cent of the residents are overwhelmed with corrupt police who allegedly offer no service short of bribes being offered.
Anna Shija the programme officer whose NGO provides discounted and free legal assistance, made the revelation during presentation of the survey results which identified gaps in the legislature in the procedure for filing complaints to police.
Conducted in rural police stations, the survey also revealed that there is a high rate of file misplacement, storage and transfer due to mishandling, lack of a formal filling system, leading to numerous cases lying idle for prolonged times with the persons being held in custody.
The police stations are also very poorly equipped, lacking even basic stationary. "Suspect’s relatives are obliged to pay for the cost of photocopies for PF3s…”
The report even revealed that the police vehicles repeatedly lack fuel, forcing the one seeking services to pay for transport or give police a ride in their private cars to and from the police post.
Apart from the logistics or lack thereof the survey also revealed that holding cells are in extremely poor condition and lack basic sanitary facilities or hygiene infrastructure.
"Generally, the situation is very bad… it is worse than words can explain…” Shija lamented, adding: “…inmates have no water sources or even regular meals.”
The situation is none the better for juvenile delinquent cases who are forced to share facilities with adult suspects, the survey revealed.
Kwieco Lobbying and Advocacy Officer, Hilary Tesha, cited the biggest problem, in his opinion is transparency and accountability at all levels of the force, a complication that was acknowledged by police who took part in the research seminar.
The research conducted involved a total of 265 people, including 97 officers, six doctors and about 110 citizens including 52 ex-convicts from all districts in the Kilimanjaro Region.