- He said the juvenile gang members were suspected to be preparing a possible attack on innocent citizens since their pangas had been sharpened.
- The five are believed to be among the notorious criminals who have been terrorising locals in the region.
Police in Kwale county have launched a fresh war against juvenile machete-wielding criminal gangs, and drugs and substance abuse.
In the fresh crackdown, the police arrested at least 12 people from various areas in the region.
According to county police commander Stephen Ng'etich, at least five juvenile gang members were arrested and several pangas recovered while four others were caught selling and using drugs.
He said the juvenile gang members were suspected to be preparing a possible attack on innocent citizens since their pangas had been sharpened.
The five are believed to be among notorious criminals who have been terrorising locals in the region.
Ng'etich said several illicit brews sellers were also arrested and police seized more than 750 litres of kangara, chang'aa and mchuchula.
The commander said the fresh operations are part of efforts to end crime and salvage youth from drugs and substance abuse.
"We have ongoing operations meant to subdue criminal activities and address the menace of drugs in Kwale," he said.
Ng'etich said the crackdown targets Kombani, Waa and Diani among other areas since they are the most affected.
He said it is heartbreaking to see children aged 14 or 15 engage in crime and drugs.
The officer said the security team will make more arrests to curb drug peddling and insecurity.
Ng'etich said drugs have destroyed the lives of many Kenyan youth and rendered them less productive.
He said police officers through a multi-agency approach will work closely to eliminate drugs and criminal activities.
Ng'etich warned drug peddlers, illicit brew sellers and violent criminals that their days are numbered.
"Let me send a strong warning to these people: They should either quit and look for other good businesses or face the wrath of the law," he said.
He added that it won't be business as usual and all perpetrators shall be arrested and prosecuted according to the law.
Ng'etich said the operation to flush out juvenile criminal gangs and drugs has been extended to the grassroot levels, adding that there is no way out for the culprits.
"They should surrender before it is too late because very soon we will catch up with them," he said.
Ng'etich called on residents to take up their parental responsibilities.
He said parents should monitor their children and the friends they interact with to prevent them from falling victim to drugs and crime.
At the same time, the officer revealed that police were investigating the disappearance of two girls from Dori Secondary School in Msambweni.
The two were reported missing after failing to return home from school on Friday last week. They are both in Form 2.
Ng'etich urged the locals to provide any information that might help with the investigations and finding of the two girls.
He urged parents to accompany children to school and follow-up to ensure their safety at school and home.