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These are the most unsafe areas of Kenya

Zaddock Angira and Chris Oyuga @PeopleDailyKe

The country became more dangerous by 12 per cent  between 2017 and last year with Kiambu, Nairobi and Meru leading the list of infamy, according to a crime report to be released by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet any time from today.

The National Police Service Crime Report 2018 shows that 65,820 offences were recorded last year compared to 59,029 over the same period in 2017, marking an increase of nearly 7,000.

Kiambu accounted for eight per cent of the total reported cases, clocking a whopping 5,364 incidents and beating even it’s wealthier neighbour Nairobi which followed with 5,212 cases.

But Meru was the surprise entrant at number three with 4,284, Nakuru at 3,270 and Murang’a 2,335 cases.  Others were Mombasa at 2,286, Machakos (2,270), Kisii (2,035), Bungoma (1,992), Kitui (1,955), Kilifi (1,802), Kisumu (1,767), Kirinyaga (1,670), Kakamega (1,604) and Uasin Gishu with 1,458 incidents.

A senior police officer, who sought anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, explained that crime may have increased in Nairobi and Kiambu due to economic reasons.

“Most criminals believe Nairobi being the economic capital, residents are well off financially. That is why you find a lot of violent robberies and major frauds being undertaken there. Kiambu is just an extension of the capital,” he said. For Meru, the officer believes the miraa business has led to more cash flow and with it higher crime rate.

But while Kiambu topped the list, police identified Githurai, Kiamumbi, Muchatha, Wangige, Kinoo, Mutuini and Witethie in Thika as the areas you are most likely to get mugged in the county. In Nairobi county, police zoned off Karen (area bordering Ongata Rongai), Eastleigh, Dandora, Kayole (specifically Soweto) as places to avoid in the dark.

During the same period, cases of violent crimes, defilement, possession of dangerous drugs, stealing and assault cases also shot up nationally.

Robbery cases increased from 1,957 cases in 2017 to 2,185 cases last year. The report also shows an increase in cases of carjacking and abductions.

But more worrying is the rise in morality offences from 4,108 to 5,272 cases. A total of 3,983 defilement cases were reported last year compared to 3,014 cases reported the previous year and with rape rising from 617 to 734 cases last year.

Interestingly, the counties you are most likely to die in the hands of a terrorist are also the least prone to other forms of insecurity. Mandera reported 244, Wajir 301 and Lamu 328 cases each, accounting for less than one per cent.

But the same period recorded 40 terror incidents where 58 people were killed and 44 others injured.  Of those killed, 29 were security personnel, 21 were civilians while eight were militants, while out of the 44 injured, 41 were security officers while the other three were civilians. Fifteen suspects were arrested over the same period.

According to the report, terrorism remains a major cause of insecurity in the country, mostly affecting North Eastern and Coast regions.

This was despite the fact that the government acquired Anti-Personnel Carriers, helicopters and recruited more police officers to scale up the deficit experienced in various stations.

The report indicates that most of the attacks targeted the security personnel and security camps, especially in the North Eastern region where al-Shabaab planted IEDs on their routes and hurled others at their camps.

Counter terrorism

The challenges encountered in counter-terrorism efforts, according to the police, included the porosity of the Kenya-Somali border and the fact that al-Shabaab sympathisers were fighting the construction of the Kenya Somalia border wall.

Police recovered 104 firearms while 15 others were surrendered. Major towns also recorded high number of criminal incidents that are attributed to illegal guns. Pastoralist communities with relatively little police presence and numerous challenges were greatly affected. Some of the areas which have suffered considerably include Baringo, Marakwet and West Pokot.

A total of 106 cases of cattle rustling were reported with Rift Valley recording the highest number. To deal with the menace, police are currently disarming locals holding illegal firearms in Samburu, West Pokot, and Baringo counties with more personnel deployed to the region.

Nairobi and Busia counties recorded the highest number of aliens arrested by police during this period. A total of 1,934 aliens and undocumented immigrants were arrested, large number of them Tanzanians (548), Somalis (280), Ugandans (238), Ethiopians (170), Burundians (110), South Sudanese (110). Most of them were found to be engaged in illegal activities.

The report indicates that Mombasa and Nairobi’s Eastleigh constitute the East Africa’s hub for smuggling of immigrants as well as for trafficking of women and children for prostitution, the sex industry and other forms of forced labour.

There was, however, decrease in offences like stealing by employees, drug usage and house break-ins. There was a slight decrease in cases of homicide from 2,111 cases to 2,086 cases reported last year as well as a significant difference in murder cases where 1,474 cases were reported compared to 1,476 the previous year. Suicides also dropped from 296 cases to 276 reported cases in 2017.

Meru county topped in cases of offences against persons recording 1,401 cases, followed by Nairobi with 1,108 cases, Kiambu 1,087 cases and Kisii 809.

The highest number of cases under the category of stealing were reported with Meru 983, Nairobi 884, Kiambu 843 and Nakuru 698.

Kiambu County had the highest crime index of 330 cases per 100,000 persons. It was followed by Lamu with 323 cases, Kirinyaga 316 cases, Meru 316 cases, Isiolo 267 cases and Murang’a with 248 cases.

The fight against drugs saw police net 83,856 rolls and 3,567 stones of bhang and a number of culprits arraigned across the country. The largest number of dangerous drugs (1,307 cases) were netted in Kiambu county.

The year began with January recording a total of 7,782 cases reported to the police.

The trend declined up to May where it peaked with 7,691 cases reported. Comparative analysis shows that the month of July (22 per cent), April (21 per cent) May (19 per cent) and January (15 per cent) were the most crime-prone as compared to the previous year 2017.

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