, NAIROBI Kenya, Aug 30 – A new report released on Friday by the National Crime Research Centre shows that there are 46 criminal gangs in the country.
The report shows that the majority of these groups – at 50.2 percent – engage in illicit drug trafficking while 34.4 percent engage in extortion of money and related activities.
The report further indicates 33.2 percent engage in kidnapping for ransom and also noted 12.7 percent engage in environmental crimes.
Releasing the report, Stephen Muteti, a researcher said 58 percent of the total respondents say the government needs to put in more efforts to curb these crimes.
A total of 1,343 persons across the country were involved in the survey which recommends that the government should invest more on crime related researches.
“The government has deployed a lot of resources into addressing the problem of organised criminal gangs. This is evident from the annual recruitment of police officers, purchase of equipments such as motor vehicles and the enactment of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act in 2010,” he noted.
“However 58 percent of those interviewed were of the view that there were no adequate efforts to fight the gangs.”
Police were accused of colluding with some members of these illegal groups while some allegedly ignore useful information from the public that may help them stop their illegal activities.
Speaking when he launched the report, Attorney General Githu Muigai said the government was aware of the immense security challenges posed by the groups.
He said relevant policies will be put to reverse the current situation.
He has also warned members of the public against relating with the groups or offering any support, saying they derail development of the country.
“It is a criminal offence to offer any support to any of these organised criminal gangs,” he warned.
In response to the worrying situation, the Attorney General said: “The government will use such studies to help stop this.”
He noted the criminal gangs were revolving in unprecedented ways which give the security agencies great challenge.
“With insufficient training and resources, this cannot be won. All law enforcement agencies need to work together to first try and understand the real cause of these crimes incidences,” he appealed.
“Lack of unity among all these agencies will only work as recipe to these groups.”
Other than engaging in both formal and informal businesses, the report indicates that politicians in large extent give fund to the gangs.
Some of contributing factors the report highlighted were legal limitations. “Weak laws and limited jurisdiction of the laws creates a problem of enforcement.”
Others are high poverty rate and unemployment levels within the community’s and corruption with concerned institutions.
In a bid to address the problem, the report recommends the government enacts the required or fully implement relevant legislation’s and also to enhance intelligence gathering and information sharing among the relevant players.
Earlier on, the Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibui told Capital FM News the rates of crime may have increased but noted that the situation is under control.
Just as the report indicates, Kibui said high rates of poverty among people contribute to increase in crime.
He said if members of the public agree to be giving information to the police, this may help curb insecurity.
“Security starts with you! Coordinate with us by ensuring that any information that you have, you share with us. For the city to prosper, it takes all of us to unite and better our society.”