Crime levels are dropping: Police

October 2, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 2 – Eight months after the country witnessed horrifying scenes of murder and mayhem, the security situation seems to have stabilised, according to latest police statistics denoting a six percent reduction.

The latest crime index shows that the country’s security status had dipped at the beginning of the year and appeared to persist in the following months up to April when high-rate crimes were reported in many parts of the country, particularly Rift Valley and Nairobi.

Police are attributing the situation to a culture of impunity that developed over time during the four-month stand-off after the disputed presidential election when more than 1200 people were killed and some 350,000 others displaced.

Police headquarters now say the situation has stabilised and the levels of crime settled to manageable levels. At six percent reduction over the past eight months, the police said the situation is far much better than what it was the same period last year.

“In fact, it could have been better than this were it not for what happened early this year. We could have recorded something better,” Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe told Capital News.

The report shows that there were no robberies reported in any of the banks or other financial institutions making the period under review one of the safest for the country’s money traders.

“This is a great achievement for our country. This means that we are firmly on the ground ensuring that our people and their money are safe,” said Mr Kiraithe.

A total of 41, 554 incidents of crime were reported from January to August as compared to 44, 033 reported in the same period last year. They include murder, stealing, robberies and carjacking.

Others include house breaking, motor vehicle theft, rape and traffic cases which were sampled in the report as independent crime incidents.

During the period under review, police recorded 955 murder cases, an increase of 114 from last year’s 841.

Police attributed the increase to the high number of people killed during the post election violence, mainly in the Rift Valley and Nairobi Provinces.

Suicide cases also rose from last year’s 145 to 205 and police are attributing this to the unfortunate circumstances that faced most people after the post election violence.

Many of these cases were reported in the violence-hit areas where most people are believed to have either hanged themselves or swallowed poison as a result of desperation or shock.

“It is definitely a high number to commit suicide at such a period of time, particularly coming after the post election violence,” police said.

The post election violence also contributed to the increased cases of reported arson which rose from 318 to 996.

This is the time when the highest number of property was also destroyed maliciously. The statistics show that 1,650 properties were burnt, vandalised or looted.

Another prevalent crime reported during the period is stealing by servant, mainly involving company directors. More directors stole from their own companies during the period under review.

Last year, there were 41 such cases as compared to this year’s 103, the highest ever reported by companies. This form of crime was contributed by increased cases of forgery and fraud which rose to 177 from last year’s 169.

Unlike last year, the nine-month period recorded a significant drop in rape and other sexual offences.

As compared to last year’s 621, the statistics show that the period under review recorded 449 cases.

The figures contradict earlier ones released by various human rights organisations, which showed that up to 1000 or more women had been raped between January and March alone.

Robbery with violence cases which is a common crime in Kenya dropped from last year’s 1876 to 1589 and police are attributing this to intensified patrols by officers.

There was also a significant reduction in offences against morality which dropped from 2526 to a low of 1957. These include offences like bestiality, incest and bigamy which are outlawed in Kenya. Bigamy is the crime of marrying somebody while being legally married to somebody else.

There were nine cases of simultaneous marriage reported in the country since January as compared to last year’s four which were reported the whole year.


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