Demographic Vulnerability to Crime Victimization among Urban Residents in Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya
The mushroom of the informal settlements in urban spaces has confined the urban poor in deplorable life at the periphery of socio-economic development. The residents in these informal settlements do not just have to grapple with a deprived lifestyle, they are also the key targets of criminality that is rampant in their neighbourhood. This study examined the demographic vulnerability to crime victimization amongst the informal settlement residents. The study focused on four slums in Nairobi, which included Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, and Mukuru slums. The systematic sampling design was used to determine the 659 respondents. The questionnaires were administered to the respondents, this was quantitatively and qualitatively filled by the respondents to ensure a higher response rate. The study established that most residents were victimized by crime at least once and the common crime included the brewing and consumption of illicit brew. The other commonly experienced crimes included general robbery, burglary, muggings, drugs, assault, murder, robbery with violence, pickpocketing, sexual abuse, arson, kidnapping. Most of the residents lived with the fear of criminal victimization, with nearly a half of them falling victims of crime in the past year. Most of these criminal activities happened early in the evening and early in the morning and were perpetrated on the victims either along the way or in their homes. The crimes were mostly conducted with a weapon and the criminal attacks were often carried out by the youth and middle-aged individuals. The study recommended the establishment of sensitization programs to educate the residents about crime in their neighbourhood and the available ways of seeking justice. The study also recommended the enhancement of community policing in the informal settlement to protect the vulnerable girls who are susceptible to victimization due to the illicit brew that is sold and consumed in their neighbourhood
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