CRIME

Crime incidents declined in 2020 due to Covid-19 – survey

There were 174 cases of suicide reported in 2020 as compared to 196 in 2019, 302 in 2018, 421 in 2017 and 302 in 2016

In Summary
  • Some 1,781 cases of murder in 2020 as compared to 1,527 in 2019, 2,333 in 2018, 1,435 in 2017 and 1,439.
  • Abduction cases stood at 70 in 2020 from 71 in 2019, 52 in 2018, 138 in 2017 and 53 in 2016.
Crime scene.
CARTEL : Crime scene.
Image: /THE STAR

Crime cases reported to the police in 2020 reduced by 25.4 per cent to 69,645 from 93,411 in 2019.

There were 88,268 crimes in 2018, 77,992 in 2017 and 76,986 in 2016.

The Economic Survey for 2020 shows offences against morality increased from 8,051 in 2019 to 9,153 in 2020. Cases involving stealing, went down by 37.6 per cent from 13,954 in 2019 to 8,709 in 2020.

The study shows the reduction in the number of offences could be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic containment measures.

The restrictions and curfews led to the reduction of crimes committed, as well as reporting to the police.

There were 174 cases of suicide reported in 2020 compared to 196 in 2019, 302 in 2018, 421 in 2017 and 302 in 2016. The majority of the victims were male.

There were 1,781 cases of murder in 2020 compared to 1,527 in 2019, 2,333 in 2018 and 1,435 in 2017.

Rape cases increased to 973 in 2020 compared to 950 reported in 2019, 921 in 2018, 784 in 2017 and 923 in 2016. Defilement cases increased to 6,801 in 2020 from 5,397 in 2019, 4,767 in 2018, 3,487 in 2017 and 4,512 in 2016.

The report indicates that assault cases stood at 13,139 in 2020 from 16,304 in 2019, 16,088 in 2018, 13,609 in 2017 and 14,559 in 2016.

Abduction cases were 70 in 2020. In 2019, they were 71, 52 in 2018, 138 in 2017 and 53 in 2016.

Homicides increased by 4.7 per cent from 2,971 recorded in 2019 to 3,111 in 2020. There were 2,856 cases of homicide in 2018, 2,774 in 2017 and 2,751 in 2016.

Robbery cases were 2,384 in 2020 compared to 2,858 in 2019, 2,935 in 2018 and 2,713 in 2017.

All police command stations recorded a decline in reported crimes except Lamu, Taita Taveta, Garissa, Kisumu and Samburu.

Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Machakos, Meru, Kisii, Kisumu and Mombasa command police stations jointly accounted for 40.1 per cent of all the crimes reported in 2020.

Kakamega police command station recorded the highest decline of 53.4 per cent in crimes from 2,621 in 2019 to 1,221 in 2020.

Other command stations that recorded a significant decline were Nandi, Murang’a, Kericho, Makueni and Kajiado at 44.3, 36.7, 36.3, 35.9 and 34.0 per cent, respectively.

There was a slight increase in crimes reported in Kisumu from 2,188 in 2019 to 2,390 in 2020, while Lamu and Samburu increased from 339 and 363 to 380 in the same period.

During the same period, the prison population declined by 60.7 per cent to 86,119 in 2020 with the number of convicted and unconvicted prisoners decreasing to 29,306 and 56,813 respectively in 2020.

The number of offenders serving probation sentences declined by 58.9 per cent from 11,515 in 2019 to 4,730 in 2020 while that of offenders under community service and those serving aftercare decreased from 17,067 and 560 in 2019 to 15,666 and 92 in 2020.

This is due to the 2017 case order, which was meant to review the sentences of offenders serving death sentence or life imprisonment to definite terms, which resulted in early releases.

Nairobi recorded the highest number of cases, which accounted for 8.4 per cent, followed by Kiambu and Meru command stations at 6.3 per cent and 6.0 per cent respectively.

The number of persons reported to the police to have committed offences declined by 21.0 per cent to 65,083 in 2020. Male and female offenders decreased by 19.6 per cent and 27.1 per cent, respectively.

Offenders reported to have committed homicides went up by 11.3 per cent to 2,494 in 2020. Of this number, persons reported to have committed murder and manslaughter accounted for 75.3 per cent.

There was a general decrease in the number of cases reported against child protection, from 175,087 cases in 2019 to 146,881 cases in 2020.

Most notably, was a decrease in cases of children in need of registration at 44.9 per cent and children in conflict with the law at 42.4 per cent in 2020.

This could be attributed to the work-from-home directive.

However, there were significant increases in cases such as child trafficking, child pregnancy, FGM, physical abuse and cases of internally displaced children which increased from 2,329, 735, 74, 2,189 and 67 in 2019 to 2,523, 1,122, 139, 3,884 and 205 in 2020.

Police repossessed 167 illegally held firearms in 2020 compared to 884 in 2019.

Sixty-nine firearms were surrendered in 2020 compared to 160 in 2019 while 3,878 rounds of ammunition were recovered in 2020 down from 14,086 in 2019.

The quantity of dangerous drugs seized increased to 10,909 kilos in 2020 from 6,533 kilos in 2019.

The number of reports forwarded by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for investigations decreased by 36.2 per cent to 2,221 in 2019-20.

There were 163 files in 2019-20 forwarded by the EACC to the ODPP with recommendations to prosecute, representing a 30.3 per cent decline. Of the number, 41 files were accepted.

During the same period, ODPP accepted 20 files recommended for closure, while 56 files were returned to the EACC for further investigations.

The proportion of reports awaiting action by the Director of Public Prosecutions decreased from 21.8 per cent in 2018-19 to 17.8 per cent in 2019-20.

The EACC traced public assets worth Sh25.3 billion and recovered others worth Sh12.1 billion in 2019-20. The commission also averted loss of assets worth Sh10.0 billion during the same period.

The number of cases filed by various courts declined by 30.3 per cent to 337,510 in 2019-20. Similarly, cases disposed of decreased by 38.2 per cent to 289,728 in 2019-20, while pending cases increased by 8.2 per cent to 633,866 in 2019-20.

The report said the number of passports issued in 2020 decreased by 51.0 per cent to 219,090 while the number of registered foreign nationals decreased by 29.7 per cent to 19,034.

The number of work permits issued decreased by 34.7 per cent to 5,851 while the renewed work permits increased by 8.5 per cent to 11,395 in 2020.

The decline was attributed to reduced demand for travel documents due to restrictions imposed to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The population of refugees and asylum seekers went up by 3.1 per cent to 504,854 in 2020 where child and adult refugee population increased marginally from 267,908 and 221,839 in 2019 to 270,245 and 234,609 in 2020.

The number of persons with disability who were registered by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities decreased by 16.3 per cent from 45,411 in 2018-19 to 38,010 in 2019-20.

This was partly attributed to fewer medical assessments due to Covid-19 pandemic. 

In 2020, police repossessed 167 illegally held firearms, compared to 884 repossessed in 2019. Sixty-nine firearms were surrendered in 2020 compared to 160 surrendered in 2019.

Police recovered 3,878 rounds of ammunition in 2020 down from 14,086 recovered in 2019. The quantity of dangerous drugs seized increased to 10,909 kilos in 2020 from 6,533 kilos in 2019.

There was a decline of 21.0 per cent in the number of persons reported to the police to have committed offences from 82,398 in 2019 to 65,083 in 2020.

During the review period, the number of male and female offenders decreased by 19.6 per cent and 27.1 per cent respectively.

Nairobi county accounted for the highest number of persons reported to have committed crimes at 7.6 per cent in 2020 followed by Kiambu, Nakuru and Kisii counties at 5.2, 5.1 and 4.7 per cent respectively.

The highest increase in the number of persons reported to have committed crime was recorded in Kitui from 943 persons in 2019 to 1,382 persons in 2020.

Other stations that recorded an increase in the number of persons who committed crimes included Samburu, Siaya, Taita Taveta, Isiolo, and Nakuru.