Concern as crimes by juveniles rise in Naivasha

Naivasha Sub County Probation officer Joel Kamau briefs the media in Naivasha on August, 3, 2022

Photo credit: Macharia Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Cases of juveniles committing crimes are increasing in Naivasha, according to statistics from the probation department.

Such children go through a court process. If they are convicted, they are placed under the supervision of department officers.

Sub-county probation officer Joel Kamau said the department is concerned that even young girls are peddling drugs such as bhang.

“We have a 16-year-old Form Two learner who was an active bhang seller before her arrest and arraignment,” Mr Kamau said.

The girl, he said, was transferred to a school in another county, where she is studying and undergoing rehabilitation.

Another girl, aged 15, was booked for a similar offence, with Mr Kamau saying this trend affects girls in day schools in Naivasha.

Saying the department was working to stem the tide, he admitted that fighting petty offences involving children is difficult.  

“The department is dealing with 48 cases of petty offenders and all of them are under the age of 18,” he said.

He cited a 12-year-old boy who was convicted of stealing. Fourteen others were taken to court for committing related offences, with offenders targeting electronics.

But he said the department had successfully rehabilitated several children and taken them back to school.

The sub-county, he said, has a Sh90,000 probation kitty used to pay school fees for convicted offenders eager to resume their studies.

“We sit down as a county resource committee and allocate funds depending on the needs of those benefiting from the programme,” he said.

He hailed the fund, saying children who have benefited from the programme have abandoned their criminal ways. “When disillusioned, young people take to crime as a form of solace,” he added.    

He attributed rising crime among schoolchildren to poverty, saying more than 80 per cent of the juvenile offenders he was dealing with were from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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