A report released by the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC) has labelled the boda boda industry a potential threat to national security, with most crimes in urban areas linked to motorbikes operators.
According to the research firm, the riders are not only being used to perpetuate crimes in the country but are also being used to provide getaways for criminals from crime scenes.
In a report by Mediamax seen by TUKO – Kenya news, on Monday, April 8, the research center tabled the findings in Parliament last week, demanding that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) partners with police to address the threat posed by the sector.
“The boda boda transport sub-sector is rapidly evolving into a potentially negative force that could get out of control with serious implications for the country if not well managed and regulated,” said the report.
The research which was conducted in 24 counties revealed the sector lacked proper policing, regulations and close monitoring which have resulted to wanton recklessness, impunity, accidents and violence.
The riders were also linked to teenage pregnancies among school girls whom they often ferry to and from the learning institutions.
“The study found out that rogue boda boda operators have become the main perpetrators of petty and major violent crimes and motorcycles have become a key facilitator in commission of crimes,” noted the report.
Among the most notorious crimes perpetrated by boda boda operators include murder representing 38.7%, robbery with violence 52.9%, causing death by dangerous riding 79.5% and general theft at 76.7%.
Other crimes listed in the report were mob justice and smuggling of goods across borders at 15.9%, riding under influence of alcohol at 52.7%, fraud and forgery offences at 13%, handling stolen property-12.8%, burglary-11.3% and motorcycle hijackings standing at 10.4%.
Cases of the riders stealing from their passengers, speeding leading to deaths and participating in organised crimes increased significantly, recording 31.8%, 28.8% and 31.8% respectively.
The research firm asked relevant authorities to put in place proper mechanisms to ensure the sector is tightly monitored and regulated to restore sanity and enhance safety of passengers.