Joblessness major cause of crime in Kenya’s slums

October 15, 2014 1:43 pm

, TRAIN-KIBERANAIROBI Kenya, Oct 15 – A new report on crime in urban slums in Kenya indicates youth unemployment contributes to insecurity in the slums at 61 percent.

Rampant poverty, use of illicit brews and drug abuse are also cited as causes of crime in slums within Kenya.

The study by the Security Research and Information Centre sampled 654 adult slum dwellers in Kibra, Mishomoroni, Manyatta and Bondeni.

The centre programme coordinator Leonard Kyalo says slums also have alarmingly high number of crime gangs with the four areas alone having 21 criminal groups.

To change the trend, the centre recommends increased community participation in security, disarmament and improved police-public relationship.

Among the challenges highlighted by police in their efforts to curb crime according to the report, include operational challenges which include mobility and fuel shortage.

“Specifically, the officers complained of poor terms and conditions of service, which included long working hours, logistical challenges, poor tools and equipments, shortage of manpower, inadequate and squalid housing,” the report reads.

The report recommends that police and local administrators should proactively strive to enlist and nurture a spirit of collaboration and strategic partnership with members of the public, “under the aegis of community policing by identifying and working to overcome vestiges of long-standing mutual mistrust and suspicion.”

The government is also challenged to provide police with requisite technical and logistical facilitation, as well as incentives to enable them to discharge their core duties and responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner.

Majority of Kenyans being the youths, the report challenged both national and county governments “to set up and support programmes aimed at creating more job opportunities for the youth.”

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo who launched the report urged members of the public to be sharing crucial information with police that may help avert cases of insecurity.

“I wish to urge Kenyans to cultivate the spirit of patriotism and embrace the philosophy of community policing which goes along with the Nyumba Kumi initiative,” he stated. “It takes one good person silence for evil to prevail.”

He said security should be a sole responsibility of every person while calling for vigilance.

Another report, launched by Kimaiyo on the Northern Frontier of Kenya which has been characterised by violence revealed political supremacy as the key cause of conflict in the region.

Other causes outlined in the report are resource based conflicts and cultural practices and identities.

The conflict in the area has claimed many lives and property destroyed despite efforts by the government to reconcile the fighting clans.

Wajir and Marsabit County have been worst hit by the clashes.

On environmental crime, Kimaiyo said tight measures are set to be put in place to assist in the fight against the poaching menace in the country.

Kimaiyo said he had already met key stakeholders in the sector to strategise on the way forward as the threat continues to persist despite various efforts by the Government and other stakeholders.

“We are giving a very strong warning to the poachers…their days are numbered,” he warned. “They will face the full force of the law. We are not going to relent on the issue of poaching and we are going to deal with it firmly.”

He says the current trend threatens to bring down the tourism sector which remains a major income earner but warned that police will not relent in the war.

“Even if they are armed with any kind of sophisticated weapon, we shall deal with them. We have more sophisticated weapons than they have,” he stated.


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