Alarm as boys in Nakuru quit school to join gangs

More teenagers are dropping out of school to join criminal gangs in Nakuru town, education and community policing players have warned.

The residents said boys aged between 12 and 17 years are joining an outlawed criminal gang dubbed Confirm Group. The group was gazetted as illegal by the Interior ministry in 2017.

Teachers, parents and guardians cited Nakuru Town East and West constituencies as the most affected areas and called for quick intervention.

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Kivumbini Secondary School Deputy Principal Patrick Mwangi said 15 students have dropped out of school and joined the gang in the past two years.

In 2017 alone, 10 students joined the group, he said. "There are times learners fail to turn up for classes only to realise some have joined the gang because of peer pressure,” he said.

Random numbers

He spoke during a Community Policing Committee (CPC) meeting at Bondeni attended by Patrick Obimo, a senior police officer from Vigilance House.

Fredrick Omondi, a CPC member, said the youngsters are often armed with crude weapons including clubs, machetes and knives and operate in broad daylight. They sit along pavements where they operate in groups of between four and 20.

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They pounce on members of public and steal mobile phones and also call random numbers of unsuspecting Kenyans whom they con claiming they had won several awards and competitions.

“Those indulging in the crime are Standard Eight leavers who did not join secondary school. This is worrying and we need quick action to contain the crime,” said Mr Omondi.

He said a majority of residents fear reporting to police because of fear of victimisation and threats by the gangsters.

“There are times we keep to ourselves on crimes committed by the (boys) because if we dare report, they come looking for us,” said a resident.

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Nakuru CountyCriminal gangsConfirm Group