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Police arrest 470 street children in crackdown in city centre

Police in Nairobi have arrested 470 street children and placed them in custody in a crackdown that began Monday morning.

The children and a few adults are being held in different police stations across the city, Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome has confirmed.

Mr Koome said the crackdown on street children and families is ongoing and those arrested will be vetted before being sent back to their homes or rehabilitation centres in the country.

“Their numbers have been increasing (in the city centre) and they have been mugging and harassing people on the streets,” Mr Koome said.

MOPPING UP

Early Tuesday morning, police and Nairobi County vehicles were seen on the streets mopping up the street families.

The Consortium of Street Children estimates that there are over 60,000 street children in Nairobi. Police estimate that a quarter of this number are in the Central Business District (CBD).

The Social Protection Fund allocated to the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children by the treasury is meant to cater for the welfare of the children.

The treasury increased the amount by 64 percent, to reach Sh9.7 billion in 2015/16 financial year. The amount allocated in 2014/15 was Sh 5.9 billion.