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Crime rate in Nyeri on a downward trajectory

The number of criminal cases being reported in Nyeri county have gone down by 81 percent during the first three months of the 2022/2023 financial compared to a similar period last year.

This is according to a report by the National Police Service which was presented before the County National Government Service Delivery Committee in Nyeri last week.

During the last fiscal year, crime levels stood at 1,132 with stealing, assault and drug trafficking taking the lion share of all reported cases.

However, the figures have drastically reduced within the first three months of July, August and September with only 210 cases being reported in the entire county.

For instance, while the number of murders reported during the last financial year stood at 23, only one murder was reported within the first quarter translating to about 97 percent improvement levels.

Nyeri County Commander Steve Ambrose Oloo attributed the dramatic reduction in the number of criminal cases to increased security surveillance coupled with adoption of high-end technology by police officers.

“Crime threats have reduced by 81 per cent and this was due to the acquisition of modern security surveillance equipment, motor vehicles and continuous training of our police officers to manage all crimes and security threats. Nyeri County is relatively calm and can offer a 24-hour economy,” reads part of the report.

However, despite the drop in the number of criminal cases in the eight sub counties, the report has identified a number of challenges that it cites as hurdles in addressing insecurity in the county. Among the issues include corruption within the service together with failure by residents to report known criminals to relevant authorities.

Similarly, a number of officers are reported to actually work in cahoots with known criminals and thereby dealing a huge blow to the fight against crime.

The report has therefore recommended synergy between the public and security officers in the war against crime as the most ideal solution in tackling insecurity in the county. It has also called for close monitoring of former prison inmates and profiling of known crime hotspots by deploying enough police officers on night patrols.

“We must engage all security agencies and other stakeholders through a multi-agency concept within our area of operations. In addition, we need high-level security monitoring, security surveillance and profiling of criminals and ex-prisoners to ensure there is no room for security threat. There should also be engagement of locals in crime management through Nyumba Kumi initiatives,” recommends the report.

During the tabling of the report Oloo also warned traders who were evicted from the Karatina Railway land against going back to the premises unless otherwise advised.

The police boss said the government would not tolerate any person who will attempt to encroach on the piece of land to undertake any activity since it is located on a gazetted public land.

“The land in Karatina that has been the center of conflict between the public and the government is property of the Kenya Railways unless decreed otherwise. Consequently, no one should dupe members of the public to take over the premises for whatever reasons. As long as I remain in charge of security in this area, I will not allow a section of individuals to take charge of government premises meant for the good of this country,” said Oloo.

Kenya Railways has been at loggerheads with scores of traders it evicted from its premises in Karatina town last year after resumption of train services between Nairobi and Nanyuki.

However last month area MP Eric Wambui said the issue will be sorted out to allow the close to 1,000 traders to resume their business after the transport entity allegedly allowed them back.

The traders would however be allowed to carry out their businesses in containers that were to be supplied by Kenya Railways instead of the traditional makeshift stalls. The legislator said the move would help safeguard the small-scale traders who lost their means of livelihood after being kicked out from the area.

“When the traders were operating their businesses along this route, money was in circulation in this constituency as traders were making a killing. After they were evicted, their businesses collapsed and they have been living in abject poverty ever since but we are hoping the businesses will be revived once they resume,” he said.

By Samuel Maina

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