Relationship between youth unemployment and crime prevalence in Wajir County, Kenya
Abdi, Nur Dubow
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Youth unemployment is a serious problem in most countries in Africa. Africa is one of the regions highly affected by youth unemployment. It is estimated that more than 21% of youths in Africa are unemployed. It is estimated that 64 percent of unemployed persons in Kenya are youth. The problem of unemployment has contributed to several related challenges both indirectly and directly. The nature of youth unemployment in Wajir has been documented in various economic reports. Although the prevalence rates of crime are well documented, there is little knowledge about the interaction of youth unemployment and the prevalence of criminal activities. The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between youth unemployment and crime prevalence in Wajir. The study examined the types of the criminal activities that are undertaken by youth in Wajir County. It explored the causes of these criminal activities. The study was guided by the following research objectives; to determine the relationship between the typology of youth-related crimes and crime prevalence in Wajir County; to establish the relationship between socio-economic perspectives of youth unemployment and crime prevalence in Wajir County; to examine the relationship between government policies on youth unemployment and the prevalence of crime in Wajir County, to establish the relationship between strategies used in crime prevention and the prevalence of crime in Wajir County. The study used mixed research method combining descriptive survey and correlational research designs. The target population of this study comprised of the police, County staff, residents of Wajir County and personnel from the Ministry of Youth personnel and Wajir County. Respondents were selected using both simple random and purposive sampling techniques. The sample size comprised of 235 respondents. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedule and documentary analysis. Data was analyzed using while quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics where multiple correlations were used. The findings of the study were presented using charts, frequency tables and graphs. The findings of this study are significant to police officers and other security agents within the County. The study finds that there is a relationship between the type of crime prevalent in Wajir County and unemployed youths. The study further concludes that government policies regarding youth unemployment contributed significantly in addressing youth-related criminal activities in the County. The study recommends that the County government should identify the type of youth-related crimes which common among the youths in Wajir County. The study recommends that economic empowerment initiatives should be better coordinated with young people first receiving training to equip them with money management and enterprise skills before being given loans. The study also recommends that the County government of Wajir should come up with appropriate policies that are meant reduce youth unemployment by enhancing access to initiatives like youth funds and 30% preference in public procurement for youth.
Africa Nazarene University