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Police launch surveillance centre to monitor vandalism on SGR

A welder repairs an SGR guard rail vandalised by suspected scrap metal sealers at Mariakani. May 2017. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

The National Police Service (NPS) has established an operation centre to guard against the vandalism of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line between Nairobi and Mombasa. 

The Chinese Government has donated three vehicles to the police team to enhance their operations.

The monitoring centre will be installed with CCTV cameras so as to assist officers to surveil the railway line, which in the recent past has been targeted by vandals. The centre will also enable share information for quick response.

“It will go a long way in improving security and fighting vandalism on the corridor,” police spokesman Bruno Shioso told The Standard.

Vandalised SGR guard rails, Mariakani. May 2017. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua, who presided over the commissioning of the centre at SGR headquarters in Mlolongo, said the centre was a major boost to curb vandalism.

Mr Mbugua regretted vandalism was stalling key infrastructure projects.

Last October, the police in Mtito Andei arrested two suspects in connection with the vandalism of SGR and damaging part of the railway line.

Around that time, a train from Mombasa was delayed for more than two hours after a section of the railways was ripped off by the suspected scrap metal dealers.

During the arrest, the police recovered 22 gauge blocks and one fish plate that was about to be loaded to a lorry ready to be transported out of the town.

On January 20, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a ban on the scrap metal trade.