Meru is Kenya’s murder capital, a new government survey has shown.
The county had 351 murder cases last year, the highest across the country, followed by Nyeri with 207 and Nairobi with 118.
The Kenya Economic Survey 2016 also showed crimes committed in 2015 and Meru was again recorded as having the highest number reported to police.
Crime incidents were 2,244 more than in 2014.
Other counties that showed an increase in crime are Kitui (851), Machakos (723) and Bungoma (702).
On the other hand, Nairobi, Kirinyaga and Elgeyo-Marakwet, in that order, had reduced crime levels.
The survey also showed a huge number of murder suspects are not convicted, suggesting the offenders often walk free.
“The number of registered murder cases stood at 1,423 and Meru had the highest murder convictions followed by Nairobi and Eldoret,” says the report.
In general, 72,490 crimes were reported to the police in 2015 compared to 69,376 in 2014.
Looking at all categories of crime, the highest number of incidents – 4,768 — was reported in Kiambu County.
This was followed by Nakuru (4,384), Nairobi (4,383), Meru (4,215) and Mombasa (3,194).
At the same time, 31,695 people were booked by police on suspicion of committing crimes, an 8.3 per cent increase over 2014.
The survey also showed that 80 per cent of offenders are male.
In 2015, counties that reported a high number of female offenders were Nyeri, Meru and Kirinyaga at 34.8 per cent, 31 per cent and 30.4 per cent, respectively.
Counties with low numbers of female offenders were Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa and Turkana.
The survey says: “During the review period, the police continued to implement the modernisation programme. This involved procurement of police armoured vehicles and operation of the Incidents Command Centre in Nairobi and its environs, and in Mombasa.
“Consequently, additional police officers were recruited during this period,” it says.
On corruption, the survey says the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission traced stolen public assets worth Sh3.9 billion in 2014/2015 compared to Sh7.2 billion in 2013/14.
“The value of recovered public assets was Sh140.3 million in 2014/15 compared to Sh2.1 billion in 2013/14. The value of loss averted was Sh1.6 billion in 2014/15 compared to Sh5.6 billion in 2013/14,” it also says.
At the same time, the prison population declined to 221,974 in 2015, or by 10.6 per cent.
“This is partly attributed to continued implementation of policies to decongest them,” it says.