ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE MALAWI POLICE SERVICE
3. The Malawi Police Service
4. General functions of the Police Service
5. Constitution of the Police Service
6. Order of precedence, command and seniority among officers
7. General powers of the Inspector General
8. Police standing orders
9. High Command of the Police Service
10. Delegation by Inspector General
11. Administration of the Police Service
12. Officer in-charge of police to keep prescribed books and to be responsible for stores
POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION
15. Privilege of members
16. Enforcement of attendance, etc.
17. Failure to appear or to produce documents before the Commission
18. Improper disclosure
19. Improper influence and false information
20. Secretary and staff
21. Meetings of the Police Service Commission
22. Decisions of the Police Service Commission
25. Attendance expenses and allowances
26. Commission to hear Inspector General
27. Irregular representation
28. Oath of office
29. Character of Police Service as part of public service
30. Regulations in relation to the powers and functions of the Police Service Commission
APPOINTMENT AND TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS
31. Appointment of police officers
32. Arms and accouterments to be delivered up on ceasing to belong to the Police Service
33. Police officers not to engage in other employment
POWERS, DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF POLICE OFFICERS
34. General powers and duties of police officers
35. Search by police officers
36. Power to take measurements, photographs, footprints and casts thereof
37. Power to lay information
38. No fee to be chargeable on bail bonds taken by police
39. Power of police officers to inspect licences, permits and other authorizations, and to inspect vehicles
40. Duty to keep order on public roads
41. Road barriers
42. Prohibition or restriction of traffic
43. Imposition of curfews
44. Power to use firearms
45. Power to seize weapons
46. Attendance of witnesses
47. Disposal of unclaimed property
48. Non-liability for act done under authority of warrant
49. Notice of action or prosecution against a police officer
50. Salary, benefits, etc., of a police officer not to be attached for money
51. Disciplinary Code of Conduct—offences by police officers triable by criminal courts
52. Disciplinary Code of Conduct—offences against discipline by police officer
53. Exercise of disciplinary power over police officers
54. Methods of dealing with offences against discipline
55. Establishment of disciplinary committees
56. Functions, composition and procedure of the National Police Disciplinary Committee .
57. Functions, composition and procedure of a subordinate police disciplinary committee
58. Independence of police disciplinary committees
59. Power to summon and examine witnesses and to adjourn inquiry
60. Punishments for offences against discipline
61. Summary dealing in certain cases
62. Suspended punishment
63. Appeals from a police disciplinary committee
64. Decisions of the National Police Disciplinary Committee and the Police Service Commission on appeal
65. Appeals to the High Court
66. Power of arrest and remand for offences
67. Criminal proceedings to take precedence over disciplinary proceedings
68. Power of interdiction
69. Dismissal of a police officer convicted of a criminal offence
70. Pay not to accrue during absence without leave or imprisonment
71. Fines to be recovered by stoppage of pay
72. Damage to or loss of equipment
73. Pension rights lost by dismissal
74. Membership of trade union prohibited
75. Mode of complaint by a police officer
76. Evidence to prove a disciplinary charge to be presented by police prosecutors
77. Jurisdiction of ordinary courts not affected
POLICE REWARDS AND FINES FUND
78. Establishment of Police Rewards and Fines Fund
79. Rewards to police officers as informers payable to the Fund
MALAWI POLICE RESERVE
80. Establishment of Police Reserve
81. Engagement and declaration
82. Inspector General to have command
84. Annual training
85. Disciplinary powers over pay of reserve members on calling-up and training
86. Annual retainer
88. Uniforms, equipment, arras, etc.
89. Notification of change of address
90. General offences
91. Discharge on conviction
REGULATION OF ASSEMBLIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS
93. Appointment of conveners, and authorized persons
94. Functions and duties of a convener
95. Functions and duties of a District Commissioner or persons authorized by him
96. Notice of assembly or demonstration
97. Information regarding a proposed assembly or demonstration of which notice has not been given
98. Consultations, negotiations and amendments of notices
99. Refusal of, and conditions regarding, an assembly or a demonstration
100. Procedure on postponement or cancellation of an assembly or demonstration
101. Prevention and prohibition of an assembly or a demonstration
102. Review and appeals
103. Assembly or demonstration and assembly in the vicinity of Parliament, State Residences and courts
104. Conduct of assemblies and demonstrations, and appointment of marshals
105. Powers of a police officer in relation to assemblies and demonstrations
106. Liability for damage arising from assemblies and demonstrations
107. Prohibition of weapons at assemblies and demonstrations
108. General offence for contravening this Part
109. General punishment for offences against this Part
110. Spontaneous assembly or demonstration
111. Regulations in relation to assemblies and demonstrations
PUBLIC ORDER AT FOOTBALL MATCHES
112. Application of this Part
113. Disorderly conduct at football matches
114. Use of force to disperse disorderly crowds at football matches
115. Football clubs to appoint marshals
116. Role of national body responsible for football administration
117. Liability of football clubs for actions of supporters and players
118. Extension to other designated sporting events
119. Objects of community policing
120. Establishment of community police forums
121. Membership of a community police forum
122. Functions of a community police forum
123. Discharge on conviction
LAY VISITORS TO POLICE STATION
124. Establishment and objectives of the scheme of lay visitors
127. Guidelines for lay visitors
INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION
128. Establishment of the Independent Complaints Commission
129. Functions of the Commission
130. Powers of the Commission
131. Independence of the Commission
132. Composition of the Commission
133. The Independent Complaints Commissioner
134. Removal of the Independent Complaints Commissioner
135. Functions of the Independent Complaints Commissioner
136. Other personnel of the Commission
137. Terms and conditions of service
138. Funds of the Commission
140. Offences of obstructing officers of the Commission
141. Immunities and privileges
142. Identity document
143. Disclosure of information an offence
144. Operational instructions
145. Officer in-charge of police to report deaths or injury in police custody or action
146. Annual Reports
147. Powers, etc., under any other written law
148. Regulations in relation to the Commission
149. Power to prosecute under other law not to be affected
150. Harbouring on licensed premises police officers while on duty
151. Unlawful possession of articles supplied to police officers
152. Persons causing disaffection, etc.
153. Disorderly conduct in courts, police stations, etc.
154. Being found upon police premises without lawful authority
155. Regulations and rules
26 of 1946
9 of 1947
21 of 1953
29 of 1953
33 of 1954
6 of 1957
37 of 1958
14 of 1962
37 of 1967
1 of 1969
30 of 1969
23 of 1970
4 of 1981
12 of 2010
An Act to provide for the organization, administration and the general powers, duties and functions of the Malawi Police Service; to make provision for the functioning of the Police Service Commission and for the recruitment, appointment, promotion and discipline of police officers; to establish an Independent Complaints Commission as a specialized body to receive and hear complaints by the public against police officers and make recommendations thereon; to make provision for the regulation of public order in relation to public assemblies, processions and demonstrations and at football matches; to make provision for community policing; to provide for a lay visitors scheme to enable lay persons in the community make inspection visits to police stations to check conditions of persons there detained; and further to provide for connected and ancillary matters
[1ST AUGUST 2010]
This Act may be cited as the Police Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“assistant commissioner” includes a senior assistant commissioner of police;
“Code” or “Disciplinary Code” means the Disciplinary Code of Conduct established by section 52 and set out in the Schedule;
“community police forum” means a community policing forum established under Part XI, and includes any sub-forum thereof;
“criminal offence”, in relation to matters of disciplinary control of police officers, means any offence, tribal by a court of criminal jurisdiction prescribed under any written law, including this Act;
“Inspector General” means the Inspector General of Police appointed under section 154 of the Constitution;
“Independent Complaints Commission” means the body established under Part XIII;
“Independent Complaints Commissioner” means the public officer appointed under section 132;
“junior rank” means the rank of a police officer of or below sub-inspector, and “junior police officer” shall be construed accordingly;
“lay visitors scheme” means the lay visitors scheme established under Part XII;
“National Police Disciplinary Committee” means the National Police Disciplinary Committee established under section 55;
“offence against discipline” means a disciplinary offence prescribed in the Code of Conduct or otherwise prescribed in this Act;
“officer in-charge of police” means a police officer appointed by the Inspector General to be in-charge of the police stationed in any area;
“the Police”, “the Police Service” or “the Service” means the Malawi Police Service established under Chapter XV of the Constitution;
“police disciplinary committee” includes the National Police Disciplinary Committee and a subordinate police disciplinary committee;
“police officer” means any member of the Police Service;
“Police Reserve” means the Malawi Police Service Reserve established under Part VIII;
“Police Rewards and Fines Fund” means the fund established under Part VII;
“Police Service Commission” means the body by that name established under section 155 of the Constitution and provided for under Part III of this Act;
“police station” means any place appointed by the Inspector General to be a police station and, where appropriate, includes the police formation constituting the national headquarters or a regional headquarters of the Police;
“public place” or “place of public resort” includes any premises or place to which, at the material time, the public have, or are permitted to have, access, whether upon a payment or otherwise;
“region” means any part of Malawi designated under section 11 to constitute a region for the purposes of the administration of the Police Service;
“senior rank” means the rank of a police officer of or above inspector, and “senior police officer” shall be construed accordingly;
“service”, in relation to service in the Malawi Police Service, does not include service as a member or an officer of the Police Service Commission or the Independent Complaints Commission or as a member of a community police forum or as a lay visitor under the lay visitors scheme, except for a police officer who is a member thereof;
“subordinate police disciplinary committee” means a police disciplinary committee established under section 55, subordinate to the National Police Disciplinary Committee;
“superintendent” includes a senior superintendent and an assistant superintendent;
“superior police officer” means any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent;
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE MALAWI POLICE SERVICE
The Malawi Police Service established under Chapter XV of the Constitution shall operate and function in accordance with the provisions of this Act, in addition to the provisions of that Chapter.
(1) The Police Service shall be employed in and throughout Malawi for—
(a) the prevention, investigation and detection of crime;
(b) the apprehension and prosecution of offenders;
(c) the preservation of law and order;
(d) the protection of life, property, fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals;
(e) the due enforcement of all laws with which the Police are directly charged;
(f) the exercise or performance of such other powers, functions and duties as are conferred on the Police by or under this Act or any other written law or as may by law be exercised, performed or otherwise discharged by the Police.
(2) For the performance of any of the functions under subsection (1), the Police shall be entitled to carry and to use arms, but shall so use such arms only as authorized by this Act or by any other law.
The Police Service shall comprise the Inspector General, any Deputy Inspector General, Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Senior Assistant Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Senior Superintendents, Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables.
(1) The ranks of the Police Service shall have precedence and command in the order set out in section 5, with the rank of Inspector General as the most senior.
(2) Police officers holding the same rank shall stand in order of precedence and command according to their seniority reckoned by the date of appointment to that rank in the Service or, where the date of appointment to that rank in the Service is the same, by the date of their enlistment or, where the date of enlistment is the same, by their service number.
(3) Where a police officer, other than a superior police officer, has been seconded to any branch, the word denoting the designation of the branch shall precede the title of the rank held, but the seniority of such police officer shall be the same as if he had not been so seconded.
The Inspector General shall, subject to the general directions of the Minister, have the command, superintendence and direction of the Police Service, and may, subject to this Act and to any regulations or rules made there under, make such appointments, promotions, and reductions in ranks and grades, other than those of superior police officers and police officers of the rank of inspector, as may be delegated by the Police Service Commission in accordance with this Act.
(1) The Inspector General may, subject to this Act and to the general directions of the Minister, from time to time, make standing orders for observance by all police officers.
(2) Any police standing orders in force at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been made under subsection (1) and shall continue to apply until revoked or amended or replaced by any other standing orders made under subsection (1).
(1) There shall be a High Command of the Police Service which shall comprise the Inspector General, who shall be the head and chairperson of the High Command, every Deputy Inspector General and officers of the rank of Commissioner.
(2) The functions and duties of the High Command shall be the formulation of organizational policy and the development of strategic and operational directives for the Police Service.
(3) The High Command shall have power to determine its own procedure for the conduct of its proceedings.
The Inspector General may delegate his powers under this Act to a Deputy Inspector General, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Senior Assistant Commissioner or an Assistant Commissioner except the power granted under section 8 to make standing orders.
(1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Inspector General, designate any part of Malawi as constituting a region of Malawi for the purposes of the administration of the Police Service and shall give notification of such designation in the Gazette.
(2) The Command of the Police in any region shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Inspector General to be in charge of the region and such officer shall carry out the orders of the Inspector General in all matters connected with the duties, discipline, interior economy and training of the officers under him.
(3) The control of the police in any area or place within a region shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Inspector General to be in charge of the area or place and such officer shall, subject to the orders ;and directions of the Inspector General, carry out the orders of the officer in-charge of the region in all matters connected with the duties, discipline, interior economy and training of the officers under him.
(1) Every officer in-charge of a police station shall keep a general diary or an occurrence book and such other books and records, and shall render such returns as the Inspector General may, from time to time direct.
(2) Every officer in-charge of a police station shall be responsible for all public stores and public moneys issued and delivered for the use of the detachment under his command and shall account for such public stores and public moneys to the Inspector General.
POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION
The Police Service Commission established by section 155 of the Constitution shall have, in addition to the functions conferred on it by the Constitution, the following functions—
(a) to formulate schemes of recruitment in the Police Service;
(b) to provide for and determine the principles to be followed in making promotions in the Police Service for the purpose of ensuring uniformity of treatment of, and the standards to be attained by, police officers of each rank to qualify for promotion;
(c) to provide for all matters relating to the procedure for the exercise, and the delegation, of its powers of appointment, dismissal and disciplinary control of police officers;
(d) to adopt general measures necessary to guarantee efficiency and transparency in relation to appointments, promotions and disciplinary control in the Police Service; and
(e) to do or perform such other functions as are conferred on it by or under this Act or any other written law.
The Police Service Commission shall have power—
(a) as conferred on it by the Constitution, to—
(i) appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the Police Service other than that of Inspector General;
(ii) confirm appointments and remove from office any persons so appointed;
(iii) exercise disciplinary control in accordance with this Act over persons so appointed;
(b) by notice in the Gazette, to declare any additional ranks in the Police Service, fix the precedence of such ranks and declare that any such additional rank shall be deemed to be included in any existing rank for the purposes of the interpretation of this Act;
(c) to delegate by directions in writing any of its powers conferred by the Constitution or by this Act or by any other written law, to any member of the Commission or to any public officer or public body being part of the Malawi Police Service;
(d) to hear such complaints or appeals from aggrieved police officers relating to the exercise of powers delegated under this section; and
(e) to do and perform all such acts or things as are necessary or expedient for the performance or exercise of its functions and powers.
Every member of the Police Service Commission shall have such protection and privilege, in case of any action or suit brought against him for any act done or attempted to be done m the bona fide execution of his duties, as is by law given in respect of acts done or words spoken by a judge of the Pligh Court in the exercise of his judicial office.
The Police Service Commission may require any person to attend and give evidence before it concerning any matter which it may properly consider in the exercise of its functions and powers and may require the production of any documents relating to any such matter by any person attending before it.
Any person, other than a person who is notified to appear before the Police Service Commission solely in connexion with his application for appointment to a post in the Police Service, who without reasonable cause fails to appear before the Commission when notified to do so by the Commission, or who willfully fails to produce any document in his possession when requested to do so by the Commission, commies an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.
-(1) No member of the Police Service Commission or any member of the staff of the Commission shall publish or disclose to any person, otherwise than in the exercise of his official functions, the contents of any document, communication or information whatsoever which has come to his notice in the course of his duties.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.
(1) Any person who directly or indirectly, otherwise than in the course of his duties, by himself or by any other person in any manner whatsoever attempts to improperly influence the Police Service Commission in the exercise of its functions or powers commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.
(2) Any person who, in connexion with the exercise by the Police Service Commission of its functions and powers, willfully gives to the Commission any information which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true or which he knows to be false by reason of the omission of any material particular commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.
(3) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), “Commission” includes the Commission, any member of the Commission, any member of the staff of the Commission or any person or body of persons appointed or engaged to assist the Commission in the exercise of its functions and powers.
(1) The Police Service Commission shall appoint a Secretary to the Police Service Commission who shall be a public officer and the chief executive officer of the Police Service Commission.
(2) The Police Service Commission shall appoint such other staff as it may, from time to time, consider necessary and who shall be public officers.
(3) The Secretary and other staff of the Police Service Commission shall be subject to the direction of the Police Service Commission.
(4) The Police Service Commission may be served by officers in the public service in common with other public service commissions established under the Constitution or under an Act of Parliament, and such officers shall be deemed to have been duly appointed for the purposes of this section.
(1) The Police Service Commission shall meet as often as business requires and, in any event, at least three times a year.
(2) A quorum for meetings of the Police Service Commission shall be formed by the presence of any three members.
(3) Meetings of the Police Service Commission shall be presided over by the Chairman or, in his absence, by a member elected in that behalf by the members attending the meeting.
(4) The Police Service Commission shall have power, subject to this Act, to determine its own procedures for the conduct of its business.
(1) Subject to subsection (2), at every meeting of the Police Service Commission decisions of the Police Service Commission shall be determined by the majority of the members present and voting at the meeting.
(2) The Police Service Commission may make decisions without a meeting by the circulation of the relevant papers among the members and the expression of their views in writing, and if there is any disagreement as to the decision to be made, or if any member expresses a desire for the decision to be deferred, the matter shall be considered at a meeting of the Police Service Commission.
Any member of the Police Service Commission shall be entitled to dissent from a decision of the Commission and to have his dissent and his reasons therefore recorded in the minutes of the Police Service Commission.
The Secretary shall keep minutes of every meeting of the Police Service Commission, which shall include a record of the members present.
Any person attending before the Police Service Commission at the request of the Police Service Commission, other than a public officer or a person who is applying for appointment to the Police Service, shall be entitled to be paid by the Police Service Commission expenses and allowances as may be determined by the Minister, from time to time, on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission.
At the request of the Inspector General to be heard personally, the Police Service Commission shall hear him or his designated representative personally in connexion with any recommendation made by the Inspector General to the Police Service Commission.
In carrying out its functions and duties under the Constitution, this Act and regulations made under this Act, the Police Service Commission shall not take into account any representations made to it otherwise than in accordance with the Constitution, the Act or such Regulations.
(1) Every member of the Police Service Commission, and the Secretary of the Police Service Commission and such other members of staff of the Police Service Commission as the Police Service Commission may require, shall, on appointment, take an oath of office in the prescribed form.
(2) A person who is required under subsection (1) to take an oath may instead make a solemn affirmation in the prescribed form for the due performance of the duties of his office.
(3) An oath or affirmation taken by a member of the Police Service Commission shall be administered by the Chief Justice, and every oath or affirmation taken by the Secretary or any other member of the staff of the Police Service Commission shall be administered by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
For the avoidance of doubt, the fundamental principles contained in the Public Service Act, for the administration of the public service shall be applied to the management and administration of the Police Service.
The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission, make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Part, and regulations made under this section shall be cited as the Police Service Commission Regulations.
APPOINTMENT AND TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS
(1) Police officers of or above the rank of inspector, other than the Inspector General, shall be appointed by the Police Service Commission.
(2) Police officers below the rank of inspector shall be appointed by the Inspector General in such manner as the Police Service Commission may direct and subject to such conditions as the Commission may prescribe.
(1) When a police officer ceases to belong to the Police Service, he shall forthwith deliver up to the person appointed by the Inspector General for that purpose, or to the officer in-charge of police at the place at which he was last stationed, all arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms and other appointments which have been supplied to him and which are the property of the Government.
(2) Any police officer who, having ceased to belong to the Police Service, fails to deliver up any such arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms or other appointments as required by subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of K10,000 and to imprisonment for three months, and the court may issue a warrant to search for and to seize all such arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms and other appointments which shall not have been so delivered up.
No police officer shall, without the consent of the Inspector General, engage in any employment or office other than in accordance with his duties under this Act.
POWERS, DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF POLICE OFFICERS
(1) Every police officer shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are conferred or imposed on a police officer by or under this Act or any other written law and as are by law conferred or imposed on police officers.
(2) Every police officer shall—
(a) obey all lawful directions in respect of the execution of his office which he may from time to time receive from any competent authority;
(b) serve, and be willing to serve, at any station to which he may be assigned; and
(c) promptly obey and execute all orders and warrants lawfully issued by a competent authority.
(3) It shall be the duty of every police officer to—
(a) collect and communicate intelligence affecting the functions, powers and duties of the Police;
(b) prevent the commission of offences and public nuisances;
(c) detect crime and bring offenders to justice; and
(d) apprehend all persons whom he is legally authorized to apprehend and for whose apprehension sufficient grounds exist.
(4) Every police officer shall be deemed to be on duty at all times and may at any time be detailed for duty in any part of Malawi.
(5) A police officer may, without warrant, enter at any hour of the day or night any premises licensed under the Liquor Act or any place in which he has reasonable grounds to suspect that illegal drinking or illegal gambling is taking place or to which dissolute or disorderly persons are resorting.
(6) A police officer may, for the purposes of his duties under this section, without a warrant, enter at any hour of the day or night any premises or place in which he has reasonable grounds to suspect that an illegal act is taking place.
(7) Except as otherwise provided by this Act or by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, every police officer shall have all such rights, powers, authorities, privileges and immunities, and shall be liable to all such duties and responsibilities as any police officer of or below the rank of sub-inspector duly appointed has or is subject or liable to, either by common law or by virtue of any law in force in Malawi.
(1) Where a police officer of or above the rank of sub-inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that any thing necessary for purposes of an investigation into an offence which he is authorized to investigate may be found in any place and that such thing cannot in his opinion be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying in such writing, so far as is possible, the thing for which search is to be made, after giving the copy of a record thereof to the owner or occupant of the place to be searched, search without a warrant, or cause search without a warrant to be made, for such thing in any place and, if such thing be found, seize it and carry it before the nearest magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence to be dealt with according to law.
(2) A police officer proceeding under subsection (1) shall, if practicable, conduct the search in person.
(3) If a police officer of the rank referred to in subsection (1) is unable to conduct a search in person as required by subsection (2), and there is no other competent officer present to make the search at the time, he may, after recording in writing his reasons for so doing, require any officer subordinate to him not below the rank of sergeant to make the search; and he shall deliver to such subordinate officer an order in writing specifying the place to be searched and, in so far as it is possible, the thing for which search is to be made, and such subordinate officer may thereupon search for such thing in such place without a warrant.
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