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BREAKING

Kenya's crime rate sees record high numbers amid economic turmoil

A window with a bullet impact is seen at a school, which was shut down due to organized crime violence, in the community of El Limoncillo, in Michoacan state, Mexico, February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Source: X80002

For the first time, reported crimes in Kenya surpassed the 100,000 mark which was driven by a significant increase in theft amid challenging economic conditions.

According to the Kenya Economic Survey report released this year by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), crime cases reached 104,842, marking a 19% increase from 2022.

The report explains that the record-high numbers of crimes in Kenya are centred on an increase in cases of staff theft, robberies, break-ins, and stock theft as more Kenyans struggled to make ends meet amid severe inflation and high unemployment rates.

“There was a general increase in all crimes reported to the police except for homicide which decreased marginally from 3,056 in 2022 to 3,031 in 2023,” the KNBS report reads.

The report further detailed that attacks on tourists surged by 161.5% to 68 reported cases in 2023, while crimes involving police officers increased by 133.7% to 180 cases.

The report adds that homicides were the only type of crime to record a decrease in 2023.

State of Kenya's economy

According to the 2023 African Economic Outlook report, Kenya's GDP growth slowed in 2022 compared to 2021.

"Real GDP growth slowed to 5.5% in 2022 from 7.5% in 2021, attributable to the drought, increased commodity prices, and tight global financial conditions. Growth was driven on the supply side by services and on the demand side by household consumption. Inflation rose to 7.6% from 6.1% in 2021, driven by food and energy inflation. Inflation was moderated by subsidies and raising the policy rate to 8.25% from 7% in 2021. The fiscal deficit narrowed to 6.3% of GDP from 8.2% in 2021 due to improved revenue collection and adherence to the International Monetary Fund–supported fiscal consolation path," parts of the report read.

Currently, Kenya's inflation rate stands at 5.0% for April 2024 as measured by the Consumer Price Index according to KNBS.

"Overall year-on-year (annual) inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 5.0 per cent, in April 2024; a decrease from an inflation rate of 5.7 percent recorded in March 2024. The month of April 2024 recorded a monthly inflation rate of negative 0.2 percent," KNBS said.

The EastAfrican also reports that in 2023, Kenya faced significant inflationary pressures, peaking at 9.2% in March, which placed additional financial burdens on workers who were already facing economic challenges.

The situation was further compounded by escalating unemployment, as numerous businesses reduced their workforce in response to heightened tax rates.

Furthermore, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) issued a caution regarding the potential increase in crime due to the growing unemployment, which was intensified by the workforce reductions following the introduction of new tax regulations under the Finance Act of 2023.

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