- He said these conditions were stoked by shutdowns in economic activity, disruption of supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
- The report also outlines the drought experienced in Kenya and the region as a cause for the high crime rate.
Tough economic conditions drove up crime cases last year, a State of National Security Report forwarded to the Parliament reads.
This is in the period between September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023.
In the report dated October 26, President William Ruto, who was sworn in on September 13, 2022, attributed the surge in criminal activities to harsh economic conditions that prevailed worldwide.
He said these conditions were stoked by shutdowns in economic activity, disruption of supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The report also outlines the drought experienced in Kenya and the region as a cause for the high crime rate.
This is considering that the unprecedented droughts not only decimated crops but also led to losses of livestock resulting in food insecurity and especially in arid and semi–arid lands.
In the Horn of Africa, at least 8 million farm animals were estimated to have died during the drought.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 20 million people in the region were pushed into crisis levels of food insecurity.
“It was during the same period the country was conducting general elections, a period which has always seen heightened political activity and a rise in crime rates due to the strains to the available public safety and security resources,” Ruto added.
During the period under review, Kenya witnessed crimes ranging from homicides, to sexual-based violence, and murder.
At the time, a total of 100,651 cases were reported compared to the 86,271 cases which occurred between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.
Ruto noted that this translated to an increase of 14,380 cases which is 16.7 per cent.
“It is important to underscore here that, the largest number of those arrested committing crimes are in the age group of between 30 – 44 years of age, which therefore calls for targeted interventions to address these concerns,” he added.
Further, in the period under review, there was a recorded increase in 48 offences, among them general stealing by 4,010 (32.9%), and other Penal Code offences by 2,300 (24.3%).
Theft of stock increased by 552 (23.2%), possession of dangerous drugs by 1,779 (33.6%) and robbery with violence by 529 (23.4%).
Decreases were reported in 17 offences including murder by 111 cases (5.7%), creating disturbance by 114 (2%) and arson by 55 (7.9%).
The report recorded Nairobi as the leading county with high crime cases, being 10,078.
“This can be attributed to its high population as compared to other counties,” Ruto stated adding, “General stealing recorded the highest number of cases in the county with 2,129 reported.”
Kiambu County was second with 9,242 cases while Meru County was following with 6,278 cases.
Nakuru and Machakos took fourth and fifth places with 4,850 and 4,516 cases respectively.
Mandera County recorded the least cases of crimes at 323.
The President said most of the counties recorded an increase in crime as compared to the same period between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.
Nairobi County recorded the highest increase of 1,944 cases translating to 22.4 per cent.
Ruto further said threats to national interests within the reporting period include general crime, organised criminal gangs, sexual and gender-based violence, road traffic accidents, illicit brews and substance abuse.
The presence of terrorism, inter-communal conflicts, corruption, transnational crimes such as trade in fake and counterfeit products, the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, drug and human trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime are also a threat.
In a bid to lower the rates, Ruto said the government has put in measures that include preventative and protective public safety and security measures.
It has also enhanced multi–agency cooperation amongst national security agencies and deepened whole-of-nation approaches to national security in general.
“One of the notable initiatives launched during the period under review is the process to examine the appropriate terms and conditions of service for officers within the National Police Service, the Kenya Prisons Service and the National Youth Service,” he said.
The officer’s recommendations are expected to outline the measures that would help in uplifting their morale for better service delivery.