The government will deploy a special police unit in Mombasa County to flush out marauding criminal gangs and restore peaceful coexistence among locals.
The announcement was made by the Coast Regional Police Commander Titus Karuri following resurgence of juvenile criminal groups in the coastal city.
The criminal gangs of young boys aged between 12 and 18 years armed with pangas and other crude weapons have been terrorising Mombasa residents where several people have been seriously injured and hospitalised.
The most affected areas are Kisauni, Old town and Likoni.
Addressing a security meeting attended by village elders from Kisauni sub-county at Mtopanga AIC Church chaired by the Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata, Karuri said the special police unit from Nairobi would start operation next week to put an end to the criminal activities.
“We have already arrested 70 suspects and have given our officers instructions to deal firmly with criminal groups to restore law and order in the tourist resort city,” he said.
The police boss asked local leaders and residents to join hands with security agencies and give information that would help apprehend those behind organized crime.
Elungata warned politicians funding the criminal groups for selfish agenda saying appropriate legal action would be taken against them.
He attributed the resurgence of the criminal gangs to the August 9 General Election that are aimed at scaring or driving away a section of citizens perceived to be ‘political enemies’.
“Such activities cannot be allowed as they violate constitutional rights of Kenyans and also pose a threat to peace and tranquility,” said the Regional Commissioner.
Elungata who was accompanied by the Mombasa County Commissioner John Otieno and other top security officials in the region said police would firmly deal with weapon-wielding criminal gangs on the prowl across the coastal city terrorising residents and visitors.
“The government will not sit and watch unruly youth who are supposed to be in schools maiming and robbing innocent members of the public,” he added.
He said the involved youth have no excuse to engage in criminal activities as the government has made provision of free education up to technical colleges.
The Regional Commissioner called on the public to partner with police in the fight against crime, noting that efforts to combat cases of insecurity were not just for the police service.
Elungata commended the elders for their contribution towards fighting criminal gangs and other unlawful activities.
The elders who attended the meeting praised the government for intensifying the fight against crime and urged it not to relent until all the criminal groups are eliminated