Security has been heightened in Nakuru ahead of national examinations that kick off next week.
County Police Commander Mr Peter Mwanzo said more security officers had been sent to various stations in all the eleven Sub-Counties to ensure the exams go on well.
“We have mapped out all areas and we are working closely with sub-county education officers who are on the ground to ensure the success of the examination,” he said.
59,795 learners from the devolved unit, out of which 50,425 are drawn from public schools and 9,370 from private institutions, are scheduled to sit for their final Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) from November 25 to November 30.
Over 1,500 examination centers will host 57,816 candidates who will sit Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in the in the eleven Sub counties across Nakuru including 48,531 from public schools and 9,285 from private facilities out of 47,664 candidates who will sit for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations 39, 996 are drawn from public schools while 7,698 are registered in private facilities.
“The security of our children and that of our schools is guaranteed. We will not take any chances in this critical time for our children,” Mr Mwanzo affirmed.
The commander was speaking during a press conference at the Police Dog Section Unit hall after a high level security meeting that was attended by Governor Susan Kihika, Deputy County Commissioners and Sub-County Police Commanders.
He indicated that though a heavy presence of security officers will be deployed throughout the county during this year’s festive season as the country prepares to mark Christmas and New Year Kenyans should be on the lookout for “suspicious persons and activities” and report them to the police.
He assured residents that security personnel will be on standby round the clock during the festivities to receive information from the public.
The County Police chief further warned against criminals who may take advantage of the festivities to commit various crimes including muggings and burglaries.
Even though they are doing their best, Mr Mwanzo said members of the public can play a role in combating criminal activities by reporting all cases to allow commanders to do mapping of hot spots and deploy officers.
“My advice to locals is that they should avoid making calls in secluded places and dark alleys to avoid being a victim. Stop buying second-hand phones from unauthorized dealers because some of these could have been stolen,” he warned.
He urged residents to keep purchase receipts so that in case a phone is stolen, it can be easy to recover it later on. He also warned against exposing expensive jewelry and other items in public and urged that one frequently changes routes in case robbers are monitoring their routine.
“Security starts with an individual, I therefore urge all officers and the citizenry to work together and share all information that may assist us to pre-empt crimes,” he said.
Mr Mwanzo assured Kenyans that officers manning roadblocks this festive season will act tough against excess passengers in Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
He warned members of the public not to board any PSV which will be contravening rules such as exceeding the recommended number of passengers.
“There shall be impromptu checks along major highways. To avoid any inconveniences, we urge motorists and passengers to adhere to all road safety standards and requirements of the Traffic Act. Of special emphasis will be flagging out illegal operations contrary to the Traffic Act such as overloading, use of un-prescribed identification plates, failure to use seatbelts, drunk driving, use of un-roadworthy vehicles among others,” the police commander said.
Mwanzo urged residents to report any criminals to the police to help them deal with crime in the region.
“We will not tolerate a resurgence of any criminal gang. Those involved will face the full force of the law. I urge residents to be candid and to report members of the criminal gang to help police arrest more culprits.
Security agents are ready to nip in the bud any re-emerging criminal gangs and the operation will continue until we wipe out the gang,” said Mwanzo.
In her remarks, Ms Kihika observed that for several years now, national discourse has centered on the need for the country to embrace a 24-hour economy which is only possible where security is superb.
The Governor stated insecurity in any part of the world if unchecked threatens the business environment.
She said the County is endowed with numerous resources and investors and the business community should be able to tap them due to improved security.
The Governor added, “The issue of unemployment is a serious challenge in our county and contributes to social challenges such as abuse of alcohol by our youth, incidents of insecurity and poor sanitation, among others.”
Ms Kihika affirmed that the county government was addressing all these issues by making efforts to convert young people into job creators instead of job seekers.
By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto