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Return of criminal gangs in Nakuru causes jitters

Residents from the affected estates have called for a security operation to flush out the gangs

Residents of Nakuru Town East have raised concerns over the return of organised criminal gangs terrorizing them.

Free Area, Mchanganyiko, Kiratina and Section 58 are some of the areas largely affected by the surge in criminal attacks at night and in broad daylight.

Residents from the estates led by Peter Tena held a meeting yesterday during which they called for a security operation to flush out the gangs.

“People are being robbed during the day with the gangs not caring if anyone else is watching. People going home from work in the evening are finding it rough,” said Tena.

The residents lamented that the incidents have become rampant without any tangible action against the suspects, citing lenient bonds, bail, and fines in court.

He added that most incidents have not been reported as the gangs instil fear in their victims. “If the gang members are arrested or beaten up by a mob, they identify a few people and execute a revenge plan. This has caused many people to continue suffering in silence,” he said.

Grace Maina, a trader, said that there was a need for the deployment of additional officers to conduct patrols at all times, noting that the gangs are unpredictable.

Maina said incidents of break-ins into businesses and robberies while open had become common in the area. “These gangs have become so bold that they come into your shop and take whatever they want as you watch. They even dare you to call the police, saying nothing will be done to them,” said Maina.

She added insecurity has affected their daily lives, especially women who are seen as easy targets by young criminals.

Pastor Harrison Kariuki urged the interior Ministry to strengthen community policing, revamp and empower Peace Committees’ structures to promote peace and cohesion.

Kariuki says the gangs have terrorized them, seeking to snatch phones and steal valuables. He claims police officers are lagging in fighting these gangs.

Residents now want the government to address the situation and come up with long-term measures.

Simon Ben
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