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City police to hive off crime-ridden suburbs

Several suburbs could be hived off from the jurisdiction of Nairobi police if new proposals are adopted.

The areas include Ngong, Kajiado and parts of Kiambu which, according to  senior officers, overstretch the county’s police command and could be covered better by officers in the neighbouring counties.

One officer said the proposals could only be implemented through gazette notices and the decision communicated through the “official channels.”

The suburbs, once seen as quiet and peaceful escape as opposed to congested, noisy and polluted estates nearer the city centre, have lately been faced with brutal gang attacks, leaving home owners reconsidering their move from the estates.

Earmarked

Other suburbs in the plan include Ongata Rongai, Kiserian on the one side and Kitengela, Lukenya and Mlolongo on the other. Gachie and Ruaka are also part of the areas earmarked  for the plan.

A few years ago, these areas were not under the Nairobi police command but the districts and provinces.

The officer further said the arguments that prompted a review of the boundaries were sensible then, but matters had changed with the creation of boundaries and deployment of County police commanders.

He further explained that the problem, at the time, lay in bureaucratic police operations that left some places virtually out of the security operators’ radars and thus susceptible to attacks.

For instance, parts of Kajiado suburbs — being no more than 40 kilometres from Nairobi— the old jurisdictions placed them under Rift Valley province with headquarters in Nakuru.

Large sections of the areas were covered by police posts, usually staffed with a handful officers and no vehicles.

In in the event of attack, reinforcement would come from faraway districts and the provincial headquarters instead of Nairobi, which was nearer.

The official added that police officers from one jurisdictions can only cross over to another after their seniors had agreed and given them the nod.

The Ngong area, where many Nairobians who commute to the city live, was under the command of Kajiado until 2006.

Ngong came under the Nairobi police command when a new commander was posted there following gangland executions in 2005 as robbers raided new homes with abandon.

Gachie and Ruaka in Kiambu became a haven for criminals as the population increased and had to be brought under the city’s Gigiri division in 2008.

Before then, they had become soft options for gangsters with most of motorists being dumped there after carjackings.

In 2012, Ngong police area was separated, to create the near Kajiado North police division, which has shifted big parts of Kajiado district to Nairobi, as long as police operations are involved. If the new proposals are implemented, they would revert to the jurisdictions of county commanders there.