Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nairobi's Danger Spots

The East African Standard has an interesting article in todays paper on Nairobi's Danger Spots. To read the story go to :

Monday, February 1, 2010

Security Caution - Nairobi

Security Caution From KK Security Report - 29 January, 2010:

Uhuru Highway, and particularly near the roundabouts on Bunyala and Lusaka roads have recorded increased attacks on motorists in the recent days. The gangsters hurl rocks onto the path of an oncoming motorist and attack if the motorist stops to inspect damage. There have also been incidents where tyres are put strategically on the road, ostensibly to warn motorists of a 'broken down' vehicle ahead. When the motorists slow down, they are attacked. If you are hit by a rock, do not stop. If you think you've hit something, do not stop. Drive on and report to the nearest police station or security company Mobile Response Team. If your vehicle breaks down along these areas or on deserted roads, leave it and seek help from a safe place.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drinking and Driving Over the Holidays

The festive season is upon us again which is wonderful, but how many families will have their festive season destroyed because of the stupidity of drink drivers? Young men between the age of 18 – 25 years are more likely to drink and drive, so we ask parents to monitor their young adults and save lives this Christmas.

The facts
Did you know that if you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash, than a driver who hasn't been drinking.

Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. Alcohol enters the body quickly as it is already in a liquid form. It takes just 10 minutes for 50% of the alcohol consumed to enter the blood stream. There is no foolproof way of drinking and driving safely, or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely.
Each person's tolerance to alcohol depends on a range of factors including:

• weight
• gender
• age
• metabolism
• current stress levels
• whether they have eaten recently
• amount and type of alcohol consumed

So the only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive, and never offer an alcoholic drink to someone else who is intending to drive.

If you've been drinking, it's better not to drive. There are plenty of alternative ways to get home - you could:

• book a taxi
• stay at a friend's house overnight
• arrange a lift with someone who isn't drinking
• phone your parents

Coffee and cold showers the morning after a night out don't help you sober up. Time is the only way to get the alcohol out of your system and you could still be unfit to drive many hours after drinking.

Please enjoy your Christmas and don’t become a statistic

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Security Tips for the Holidays

From The Diplomatic Police Unit Nairobi

There are standard precautions we should take to ensure security of our residences, persons and property. This is especially true during the Holiday Season. Historically, the Holiday Season brings with it an increase in property theft, burglary and opportunistic crime such as muggings, car-jacking and extortion scams.

With the Holiday Season is fast approaching, many individuals and families will be traveling out of country or vacationing away from their residences.

Some of these tips are general residential security measures that should be practiced at all times.

Please read the following to better protect your residences when away and when traveling, security tips to avoid misfortune at the hands of criminals.


1) Do not let strangers into your house and insist on seeing identification cards of KPLC, Telkom or NCC staff etc, before allowing them to enter your plot. Alert Security Guards that no one is to entry the property without the authority of the owner/tenant. Always have Security Guards escort!

2) Never leave keys for your house or gate unsecured or in dropping points like doormats and flowerpots. Make sure all spare keys are accounted for and that they are secured.

3) Do not leave ladders or heavy tools outside your residence; these may be used to facilitate a break-in.

4) Establish a good relationship with your neighbours, ensure they are aware of your absence and keep an eye on your house.

5) If you have a reputable security provider (KSIA Member) inform their senior staff as to the period you are away and give them a contact number in the event of an emergency. Your security company should arrange patrols of your premises or increased supervision during the period you are away.

6) When you are out of town ensure that your residential staff members carry out normal daily routines. Curtains remaining shut during the day and external lights remaining on during the day can advertise your absence to opportunists
7) Never employ staff without thoroughly checking their references, avoid employing casual labor. If casual labor is necessary, record identity information, contact numbers and references before allowing laborers on the property.

8) Do not allow your staff to have visitors on or near your compound.

9) Be wary of construction sites near your premises, casual workers on such sites are often involved in criminal activity.


1) Check for construction detours and for longer trips, obtain a weather forecast.

2) Inform a friend or family member where you will be, contact numbers and when you expect to return. Give the route of travel.

3) Travel during daylight hours.

4) Always carry a mobile telephone with recorded emergency telephone numbers.

5) Maintain a minimum of one-half tank of fuel.

6) On longer trips, have water, food, first aid kit and blankets in the vehicle.

7) If involved in a non-injury accident, in an unsafe location, acknowledge the accident to the other driver(s) and proceed to a safe location. Summon the Police.

8) If signaled to stop by any vehicle other than a clearly marked law enforcement vehicle, acknowledge the signal and waive the driver to follow to a safe location. Record Jurisdictional Police numbers, call Police, tell them your location and that you are being followed by an unmarked vehicle. Ask Police to send a marked vehicle to your location.

9) When returning to vehicle, carry keys in hand and be ready to unlock the door and enter quickly. Take a quick look inside vehicle before entering.


1) Be alert, especially when leaving or entering your home/premises.

2) Vary your routes and times of journeys.

3) Travel with company, (in convoy) where possible.

4) Report any suspicious vehicles or people to Police or the Security Provider.

5) If you think you are being followed; go to the nearest public area (shopping mall, well lit petrol station, Police Post); avoid becoming isolated.

6) Be suspicious of anyone trying to get you to stop or leave your vehicle.

7) Always keep windows closed and doors locked when in urban centres and where there are crowds.

8) When stopping, avoid being ‘boxed in,’ leave enough room to maneuver.

9) When parking, do not leave anything in your vehicle that may identify you or your business.

10) Try to avoid parking anywhere that may become dark or isolated before your return.


As most Nairobi residents are aware, vehicle hijacking continues to occur on a regular basis.

It is worthy of note, however; that the vast majority of hijackings do not involve injury to the victim or damage to the vehicle.

The following are a few points of recommended behavior drawn from real incidents:

1. Avoid use of the same route on daily basis to work / home/ school / college etc.

2. Change cars if possible from time to time.

3. Avoid unnecessary travel during the late hours. When it is absolutely necessary travel with someone, DO NOT travel alone.

4. Ensure that you are familiar with road networks around your house / office and greater Nairobi.

5. After attending social functions or dinners / movies, if you notice people around your car please do not approach but seek security intervention.

6. Statistics show that most times for hijacks are usually between 6am and 9am for the morning and between 5pm and 9pm for the evening.

7. Cooperate with the hijackers. Material items can be replaced.

Kenya's Black Spots


The following sections are considered risky for motorists due to the number of accidents that have occurred in their vicinity. Motorists are advised to take extra care whilst driving in these areas.

1. Kasarani G.S.U Stretch
2. Westlands Museum Roundabout
3. Westlands Kabete Road
4. Mombasa Road Between ZAIN Hqrs 7 Cabanas
5. Jogoo Road Near Maziwa Stage
6. Waiyaki Way Near Kangemi Fly Over

1. Tsavo – Maungu – Voi Road Section
2. Wundanyi - Mwatate Road Section
3. Maungu - Tsavo East Gate Road Section
4. Maktau - Taveta Road Section
5. Mazeras Miritini Road Section
6. Rabai Ribe Road Section
7. Kaloleni Dzitsoni Road Section
8. Kilifi - Vipingo Road Section
9. Kibarani - Changamwe Makande
10. Kwale Matuga Junction Road Section
11. Tembo Disco Area Along Msa – Malindi Road
12. Kengeleni Traffic Lights
13. Buxton Traffic Lights
14. Saba-Saba Lights
15. Kibarani Area
16. Sportsman Changamwe Area
17. Navy Junction Long Lunga- Lunga/Likoni Rd
18. Shika – Adabu Area
19. Waa Sec. School Area
20. Gede Area Along Msa-Malindi Road

1. Nkubu - Embu Road Section
2. Konza Junction To Salama Road Section – Mombasa/Nrb At Chumvi Area
3. Salama - Sultan Hamud Road Section
4. Emali Simba Market To Kibwezi
5. Mtito To Tsavo River Stretch
6. Nanyuki To Isiolo Junction At Subuiga
7. Machakos - Wamunyu Road Section At Kithangathini
8. Mlolongo - Small World Club – And Juction To Namaga And At Mto Wa Mawe Bridge

1. Kiganjo - Narumoru Road
2. Kibirigwi - Sagana Road Section
3. Limuru - Uplands Section
4. Thika Blue Post - Sagana Bridge Road Section
5. Kiriaini – Muranga Road Section
6. Nyeri – Nyahururu Road
7. Makongeni (Along Thika – Garissa Road)
8. Makutano Embu Road
9. Kiambu – Muthaiga Road


1. Kinungi - Naivasha – Gilgil Toll Station
2. Gilgil - Mbaruk Road Section
3. Molo G.S.U Camp - Salgaa
4. Salgaa To A.D.C. Farm Section
5. Timboroa - Burnt Forest Section
6. Chepsir - Kipkelion Junction
7. Kericho - Litein Road Section
8. Kericho - Kaitui Section
9. Endebes Eldoret Road Section
10. Nanyuki Isiolo Junction
11. Nyeri – Nyahururu Wiyumiririe Area
12. Gilgil Nakuru Road Kasambara Area

1. Mbale - Vihiga Road Section
2. Kakamega Chavakali Road Section
3. Kakamega - Kisumu – Ilesi Museno
4. Kakamega – Mumias Rd – Makunga
5. Kakamega - Webuye – Lubao, Kambi Ya Mwanza Ejinya Corner, Malava Forest
6. Bungoma – Eldoret – Chemoi
7. Kitale Webuye – Lugulu Misikhu

1. Awasi Ahero Road Section
2. Kiboswa Kisumu Road Section
3. Daraja Mbili - Bondo Junction
4. Oyugis - Katitu Road Section
5. Migori Kakrao Road
6. Gucha Bridge
7. Migori Township
8. Ogembo Nyanguso Road
9. Kisii Township Main Road
10. Mwembe Area Kisii Town
11. Kisii Daraja Mbili

1. Garissa Madogo - Kbc Station
2. Modogashe - Habaswein
3. Ukasi - Bangale
4. Bangale – Hola Road Junction
5. Buna - Gurar

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Credit Card/Identity Theft in Kenya

One of our readers, a local security consultant, noticed a disturbing trend in Kenya concerning the way many businesses are handling credit card transactions and provided some valuable information and tips to help protect you from credit or identity theft.
Statistics in the United States from the Federal Trade Commission reported that 1 in 6 Americans would become a victim of identity theft in 2008. Criminal identity theft occurs when an imposter gives another person's name and personal information such as a drivers' license, date of birth, or National ID to obtain a job, housing, money, goods, or other services. Or the imposter may present to a counterfeit license or form of ID containing another person's data.

So how to do we prevent this from happening to us? First every household needs a shredder and our reader recommends the cross cut type. Dumpster diving, going through the rubbish for information, is an old method but still the number one way criminals get our information. Our reader noted that many of the businesses in Kenya are still printing our full credit card numbers on receipts. If you forget to take a receipt, throw it into the rubbish, or simply leave the receipt laying about in your house you are essentially giving your credit card to anyone who has access to this receipt. When you notice a business isn’t blocking out your card number on the receipt you need to bring this to the attention of the restaurant or store manager and to your bank. Eventually when enough people take notice and complain, change will come about.

Another common practice in many local businesses is for the store to enter your full credit card information into their computer system. Most people rarely notice when this happens but after the attendant runs your card into the machine they sometimes move to a computer and begin entering your personal information. Our reader noted when this happens he asks to speak with the manager and if they won’t run the transaction without recording personal information then he will pay cash or cancel the transaction. It only takes one dishonest employee or someone with a basic knowledge of computers and the stores entire customer list with credit card information can be stolen. There is no reason or excuse for a business to keep a file or store your personal information, and unless you bring this to the stores attention the practice will continue.

We’ve discussed this in previous newsletters but you should never give out personal information over the phone, and careful consideration should be made concerning the personal information you provide to all businesses. In Kenya scams are often run out of the prisons and may take many forms. Pre-texting is where a person pretending to be with a legitimate company like your mobile carrier, supermarket, etc calls or sends an sms to try to get you to verify your account numbers or even passport number. Phishing is basically the same except the thief will send you an email instead of calling you. Fake sweepstakes or lottery offers are usually sent by sms or email and claim that you've won a promotion, lottery or some other sweepstakes that you've never actually entered. Remember if contacted by phone or sms message, remain calm and don’t give out any personal information. Always note the number, don’t pick up if they call again, and never respond to messages from unknown numbers.

Social Networking sights are another area where thieves may gather your personal information. Most adults are careful about the information they give out but some teenagers and even unknowing adults may put themselves at risk of identity theft with the personal information the post to online sites such as Facebook. Identity thieves find names, addresses, and even birth dates on popular sites and use them to commit identity fraud.

Another area of concern comes from lost or stolen personal items. It's pretty obvious how thieves steal your identity by stealing your wallet or purse but how many consider the personal information they’re storing inside of an iphone or laptop. As the technology becomes smaller and easier to use you may be tempted to store personal information on these devices. Careful consideration should be made concerning the personal information you store on these devices. There are commercial programs available which store this information inside of password protected vaults or encrypted partitions, but the best practice is to consider how this information could be used in the hands of thieves and then decide if it’s worth storing the information on your device and the level of protection you may need for this personal information.
It’s easy to think, “it won’t happen to me, or hasn’t happened yet” but given the statistics the crime is growing fast and the chances are high you may be affected. There are many more tactics used to gain access to your personal information and the thieves are coming up with new scams daily. Unless you are proactive in your approach to protect yourself from this crime by limiting the personal information you give out and speaking out when stores or business aren’t protecting your privacy you too could be victim of this crime.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kidnap & Ransom

The following information was given to me by the Diplomatic Police Unit in Nairobi:

Kidnap Prevention

There has been a new development in kidnappings in the Nairobi area in recent months. Kenyans have been kidnapped by Kenyans in the past and this continues. The new development is kidnapping of Internationals where ransom has been demanded and paid.

Kidnapping or hostage taking is a crime that is used for both ideological ends, by terrorists, or monetary gain, by criminals. From the information available on the recent kidnappings in Nairobi, these kidnappings are for ransom.

This type of crime requires planning and coordination and is one of the few non-opportunist crimes affecting the population of Kenya.

Mitigating measures:

At Home

• Identify visitors before opening the door or gate to your premises; if in doubt, don’t open. If visitors are insistent, push the Security alarm to have the Security mobile Response Team respond and handle the visitor. If no security alarm, call the Jurisdictional police (have Police hotline stored in mobile phones).

• Use solid wooden or metal doors and good dead bolt locks.

• Keep windows locked.

• At night, close curtains before turning on lights.

• Erect tall boundaries, walls and fences maximize your security and privacy.

• Keep young children in sight or, if leaving them with someone, ensure that this person is aware that they may be at risk of kidnapping. Ensure that guardians of children have a mobile phone with appropriate contact numbers.


• Effective use of lighting can considerably improve your personal safety.

• Consider sensor/timer activated lighting.

• At night, leave a courtesy light on at your front door/gate.

• Always have reserve lights (such as torches or candles) readily available in the residence and in vehicles.

Key Care

• Keep strict control over your keys.

• Do not allow duplicates to be made without your permission.

• If a key is lost, replace lock(s).

• Never conceal keys outside the premises or where anyone would know where they are.

• Always be vigilant and report anything suspicious to your Jurisdictional Police and Security Provider.


By vehicle:

• Be alert, especially when leaving or entering your home/premises.

• Vary your routes and times of journeys.

• Travel with company, (in convoy) where possible.

• Report any suspicious vehicles or people to Police or the Security Provider.

• If you think you are being followed; go to the nearest public area (shopping mall, well lit petrol station, Police Post; avoid becoming isolated).

• Be suspicious of anyone trying to get you to stop or leave your vehicle.

• Always, keep windows closed and doors locked.

• When stopping; do not allow yourself to be boxed in, leave enough room to maneuver.

• When parking, do not leave anything in your vehicle that may identify you or your business.

• Try to avoid parking anywhere that may become dark or isolated before your return.


• Avoid walking after hours of darkness.

• Keep to busy, brightly lit areas where possible.

• Avoid short cuts across waste ground, deserted parks and unlit alleys.

• Be alert to your surroundings.

If A Kidnapping Occurs

• Your only job is to survive.

• At the time of your seizure, do not attempt to fight back. The first 15 to 45 minutes are the most dangerous.

• Do not play the hero; do not talk back or act “tough.”

• Fear is a normal reaction.

• Try to relax, pause, take a deep breath and accept the situation.

• Keep a low profile.

• Be cooperative without appearing either servile or antagonistic.

• Follow the instructions of your captors.

• Never beg, plead or cry.

• Do not make threats against your captors or indicate that you would testify against them.

• Avoid appearing to study your captor’s features, dress and mannerisms.

• Try to gain your captors’ respect and try to build rapport with them.

• An excellent topic of discussion is family and children.

• Encourage your captors to let the authorities know your condition and whereabouts.

• Take care of yourself; exercise, stay well groomed, eat and drink even if you are not hungry.

• Be patient and mentally prepared for isolation.

• Focus your mind on pleasant scenes, memories or prayers.

• Do not attempt to escape unless you are certain you will be successful.

• If there is a rescue attempt by force, drop to the floor and keep your hands over your head.

• Once the situation stabilizes identify yourself to the rescuers.

If anyone has any additions or comments we welcome your comments.