The latest economic survey report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has listed Kiambu as among the top three counties with the highest rates of crime after Nairobi over the past five years.
Some of the most reported crimes in the country between 2014 and 2018 were homicide, theft, economic crimes, criminal damages, drug trafficking and motor vehicle theft.
Interestingly, the report notes that corruption cases were among the least reported crimes.
In 2014, Kiambu recorded 4,449 reported crimes, a number that rose to 4,768 in 2015, 5,603 in 2017 and 6,932 in 2018.
The statistics are second to Nairobi, which recorded 6,732 crimes reported in 2014, 4,382 in 2015, 4,954 in 2016, 7,434 in 2017 and 7,128 in 2018.
Following closely at number three is Nakuru in which last year alone, 4,329 cases were reported.
Between 2017 and 2018, Kiambu experienced an increased number of bank robberies, homicides, vehicles theft, money laundering, drug trafficking, illegal possession of arms and land fraud.
Most cases of land fraud were committed and facilitated by the over 500 land-buying companies that have set up shop in the region.
Speaking while launching the new lands registry in Ruiru, Land Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said her ministry and that of Interior will profile all those companies in an effort to clean up the sector.
All land owned by these companies will then be issued with title deeds to end the rising cases of land buyers failing to acquire documents for land bought from the companies.
“After profiling them, we want to title all the parcels in their possession. It is unfortunate that 60 years after independence, Kenyans are still grappling with the challenge of owning land. Only about 40 percent of the country’s land has title deeds. In Ruiru for example, majority of the land owners do not have title deeds. What they have are share certificates. Our plan is to get to 100 percent,” said Ms Karoney.
Security experts have also cited the region as being prone to terrorism owing to the presence of a high population of idle youth, growing population of slum dwellers and the presence of a high number of colleges.
The area, and especially Thika, has also become a fertile ground for unscrupulous traders who repackage relief food from international aid agencies into sacks for sale in different counties and millers within the region.
Kiambu County Police Commander Ali Nuno says that the situation is made worse by the fact that security agencies have in the past failed to combine their efforts in curbing crime yet they face similar challenges.