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Monitoring deaths associated with police use of force in Kenya and South Africa addressed in new report

In democratic societies, effective policing depends on public consent and an acceptance of the legitimacy of the police. As events around the globe in 2020 have made evident, consent and legitimacy can be eroded when force is seen as unnecessary or excessive. The collection, recording and publicising of data about the use of force is a basic step toward ensuring the accountability of the police under the rule of law.

A new report entitled Toward a Lethal Force Monitor assesses the existing procedures and policies for recording, investigating and disclosing information on deaths associated with the application of force by law enforcement officers in Kenya and South Africa. Written by Dumisani Gandhi, Christof Heyns, Stuart Maslen, Beryl Orao, Iruebafa Lily Oyakhirome and Thomas Probert (all from the University of Pretoria), Otto Adang (Police Academy of the Netherlands), Jasper De Paepe and Marleen Easton (University of Ghent); Abi Dymond, Brian Rappert and Stephen Skinner (all from the University of Exeter), the report makes country-specific recommendations and sets an agenda for future work on the monitoring of deaths following police uses of force. The report is the second outcome of a project funded by the Open Society Foundations and the Oak Foundation and builds on the previous report entitled Police Lethal Force and Accountability: Monitoring Deaths in Western Europe. The Toward a Lethal Force Monitor report was launched at an online event on Wednesday 7th July 2021 and is available on the project website,

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