Kenya: Police Intensify Hunt for Teen Gangs Terrorising Residents

2 December 2020

Security officials in Likoni Sub-County have launched a vigorous operation to arrest teen gangs terrorising residents.

Likoni Police Commander Jane Munyoki said the crime rate had dropped since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic but that there is a resurgence.

"We managed to eliminate the gangs that were butchering people using machetes. What we now have are youth hiding in dark corners and robbing people of their valuables," said Ms Munyoki.

She said they managed to eliminate the gangs because of support from local administrators and the community.

"We want to eliminate crime in this region. For a long time, we have not had cases of gangs terrorising residents. We will defeat these petty offenders as well," she said.

In April, about 250 juvenile gangs surrendered their weapons to the police and were enrolled in rehabilitation programmes.

Likoni ward administrator Hellen Keara said they held an engagement meeting with the security team on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

"Some gangs are sprouting up and terrorising residents day and night. We embarked on this operation after residents raised concerns over gangs robbing them in broad daylight," she said.

They also discussed the drug menace and gender-based violence.

Criminal activities

Ms Keara urged parents not to protect their children who are engaging in criminal activities.

"You should hand them over to the authorities for them to get help. If you hide them, you are endangering their lives as they may face the mobs' wrath," she said.

Likoni and Kisauni sub-counties have traditionally been hotspots for criminal gangs.

However, since the emergence of the pandemic, the crime rate had considerably gone down, with police officers attributing it to the Covid-19 restrictions.

County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said over 1,000 criminals from 132 gangs have been arrested since the start of the year.

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