Over 1,000 murdered in 2018 as violent crime rate spikes

In Summary There were 90 cases of murder in Eldoret, 88 in Nakuru, 79 in Meru, and 66 in Nairobi in 2018. The number of convictions for murder cases obtained at the High Court increased from 354 to 357 in 2018. The last time the country registered more than 1000 murders in a year was in 2014.

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A total of 1,065 people were murdered in Kenya in 2018, a new report shows. FILE PHOTO | AFP

The number of murder cases crossed the 1,000 mark last year as crime statistics painted a grim picture for the country investing billions of shillings in the security sector.

The 2019 Economic Survey shows that the total number of murder cases registered increased from 956 in 2017 to 1,065 in 2018.  This represents an 11 per ent rise or 109 more people murdered than the previous year.

MURDER CASES

During the same period, the number of convictions for murder cases obtained at the High Court increased from 354 to 357.

The report notes that the registered murder cases in 2018 varied across High Court stations with the highest number being recorded in Eldoret. The last time the country registered more than 1000 murders in a year was in 2014.

The report says there were 90 cases of murder in Eldoret, 88 in Nakuru, 79 in Meru, and 66 in Nairobi, making the urban areas the deadliest for the crime whose conviction attracts capital punishment.

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It comes at a time when Kenyans have woken up to shocking cases of murders, some crimes of passion, with young university girls and married women increasingly falling victims. The report does not however give a breakdown of murder by gender.

In the year under review, the total number of crimes reported to the police increased by 13.2 per cent from 77,992 in 2017 to 88,268 in 2018 with crimes involving dangerous drugs reported to have increased by 44.1 per cent.

CRIMES

“The number of persons reported to the police to have committed crimes increased by 5.1 per cent to 75,037 in 2018, of which Kiambu police command station had the highest share at 8.4 per cent followed by Nairobi City at 8.3 per cent,” the report adds.

The report further shows that the Kenyan courts became busier in the year under review after the number of cases filed increased by 16.9 per cent from 344,180 in 2017 to 402,243 in 2018.

“The number of cases disposed of increased by 21.8 per cent from 304,182 in 2017 to 370,488 in 2018. The number of pending cases has been on an upward trend since 2015 and stood at 571,094 in 2018,” the report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reads in part.

It adds that the number of pending cases has been on an upward trend since 2015 and stood at 571,094 in 2018.

The total prison population increased from 208,168 persons in 2017 to 223,718 persons in 2018.

On their part, the convicted female prison population increased by 25.3 per cent to 10,028 in 2018 while the convicted male prison population increased by 2 per cent to 73,868 in 2018.

The proportion of female prison population increased from 8.8 per cent in 2017 to 9.6 per cent in 2018.

PRISON POPULATION

The report adds that the unconvicted prison population increased by 9.4 per cent to 139,822 persons in 2018.

The number of prisoners per 100,000 population increased from 446.8 in 2017 to 467.6 in 2018.

The daily average prison population increased by 4 per cent to 53,765 in 2018.

“During the review period, the unconvicted prison population increased by 10.3 per cent to 21,994 from 19,941 in 2017. The unconvicted male prison population increased by 10.9 per cent while that of females increased by 3.8 per cent,” the report adds.

The total daily average prison population for convicted prisoners increased marginally to 31,771 in 2018.

The daily average population of convicted males decreased from 30,280 in 2017 to 30,246 in 2018 while that of females increased from 1,469 in 2017 to 1,525 in 2018.

“The total convicted prison population increased by 4.3 per cent from 80,404 in 2017 to 83,896 in 2018,” the report adds.