Whenever a person is arrested , the arresting officer reserves the right to conduct a search in a dignified manner should he/she be convinced the arrested person is in possession of stolen property or any weapon that is a danger to the officer, the arrested person or the general population. The officer should then proceed and develop an inventory of property or things taken from the arrested person and ensure the document is signed by both the officer and the arrested person upon confirmation of the content of the inventory. The suspect is thereafter issued with a receipt which becomes a true record of all items obtained from the suspect.
The suspect is then booked and his or her details entered in a dedicated register referred to as a cell register. The register contains the suspect’s name, offence, offence law, Occurrence Book Number, date and time of entry, and physical or general body appearance. Owing to the constitution requirement of detaining a suspect for not more than 24hrs, initial entry into the register is done using a blue or a black pen. Should the suspect spend an extra day for whatever reason, the second entry is entered in red pen and reasons for continued detention recorded.
Men and women are detained in separate cells for obvious reasons. Children on the other hand should be detained in dedicated places of detention specifically designed to cater for the special needs of children and for the shortest time possible. Currently only a handful of police stations in Kenya, have these special units which are referred to as Children Protection Units. The idea is to protect children from trauma associated with detention and separation from parents or guardians. The units should be designed in such a way that no aspect of child’s growth and development is affected negatively on account of detention.
The practice that requires an arrested person to remove one shoe, sweater, belt is not codified in any legislation or policy. It is a practice designed to safeguard shoes from being stolen and violent conduct amongst detainees. The practice is however rather archaic and modern infrastructure ought to be put in place