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US warns residents of phone, purse snatchers in Nairobi

As the USA works with Kenya in a bid to restore peace in Haiti, it has warned its residents to be on the lookout for crime in Nairobi.

This follows a move by the US Embassy in Kenya to warn its citizens visiting or living in the country to be aware of an increase in the number of crimes within residential areas in Nairobi.

Through a security alert notice posted on the embassy’s website on March 15, 2024, the embassy told its citizens to be careful while walking along the streets in the Central Business District (CBD) or estates.

“There are reports of increased criminal activity in residential areas of Nairobi. Incidents include crimes of opportunity such as purse and phone snatching. The government of Kenya is taking measures to place more police in high crime areas,” part of the statement reads.

The US citizens in Kenya have further been cautioned by their government to be aware of their surroundings, keep a low profile, and not to display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches, or flashing large sums of money.

“Keep valuables, such as phones, concealed.”

The US citizens have also been asked not to physically resist any robbery attempt and remain calm.

Further, the embassy reiterated that possble confrontation with criminals often leads to violence.

The embassy has also implored on its citizens to keep doors locked and windows up when travelling in traffic.

The move will likely put the spotlight in Kenya’s security situation.

In 2023, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki explained that crime levels in the country, and especially in urban areas, had significantly reduced.

Said Kindiki at the time: “I can assure you that the country is secure and we will ensure it remains that way. Those who believe they can cause mayhem and get away with it. We have heard you, and you will also hear from us.”

Kenya and the US have a deal in place to sent Kenyan policemen to try and contain criminal gangs that have rocked the stability of the Carribean country.

The warning on possible violence in Nairobi comes weeks before President William Ruto is set to tour the US on official duty.

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