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Patterns Associated With Theft Of Motorcycles In Nandi Central District, Nandi County

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ABSTRACT

 

Motorcycle theft is one of the fastest growing forms of motor vehicle theft globally and nationally; however, studies on motorcycle theft are scanty. The study therefore examined patterns associated with theft of motorcycles in Nandi Central District of Nandi County with a view of generating information that would help in designing strategies to control and/or prevent the crime. Specifically, the study sought to establish the magnitude of motorcycle theft; demographic characteristics of motorcycle taxi operators who have fallen prey to the thefts; methods used by thieves to steal motorcycles; specific locations/sites and times when the thefts are perpetrated; and challenges faced by motorcycle taxi operators and the police in combating the crime in the district. 

The study adopted a survey design. Purposive, quota and snowballing sampling procedures were used to sample the study respondents who comprised of 95 motorcycle taxi operators, 22 police officers, 17 motorcycle riders who had fallen prey to motorcycle thefts, four police managers and three representatives of motorcycle insurers in the district. Questionnaires and semi-structured interview schedules were used to collect data. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The findings showed that the magnitude of motorcycle theft in the district was moderate with at least 15 motorcycles stolen every year. A majority of motorcycle taxi operators who had fallen prey to the crime was aged between 18-30 years and mainly had primary level of education. Most thefts occurred along major roads and in urban areas and were perpetrated at night between 8.30 p.m. and 11 p.m. mainly on Fridays and Saturdays and during the dry months of January, February and March as well as at the harvesting and festive season between October and December. The study also established that thieves employed a combination of methods to steal motorcycles namely, tricks and violence; tampering with motorcycle ignition systems; ambushing riders; and driving-by and knocking riders off their motorcycles. Further, the study revealed that the main challenges towards combating motorcycle thefts were nighttime motorcycle taxi operations; collusion between some riders and thieves; failure by motorcycle taxi riders to vet their passengers; corruption among police officers; delay by motorcycle operators to report theft incidences; and poor cooperation between police and motorcycle riders.

The study recommended that there is need for the County government to assign specified routes to motorcycle taxis in the district; ban nighttime motorcycle taxi operations; routinely maintain roads; clear bushes along roadsides; and light-up dark alleys in urban areas. The police in the district should also intensify patrols, discipline its corrupt members, strengthen collaborations with motorcycle taxi operators and together with motorcycle insurers, mount educational campaigns to sensitize motorcycle taxi operators on theft prevention strategies. Further, there is need for the National Police Service to establish a sub-category of robbery of motorcycles in its crime statistics and for motorcycle taxi operators in the district to form associations to address the crime and other problems affecting them. 

Author: 
Kirui, Gideon Kipng’eno
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