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The arrest of the Kyambogo thieves, and why CCTV is a game changer

Faces of masked thugs not so clear on CCTV, but there were enough clues for them to be arrested.

COMMENT | Samson Tinka |  On March 31, 2021 social media, as much as the traditional print, TV and radio, were all awash with stories related to a short video clip extracted from a CCTV recording of a raid on a Chinese residence located in Kyambogo lower estate Edinburg Avenue.

Thugs, dressed in uniforms similar to that of National Water and Sewerage Corporation, gained access to the home, took a worker hostage, and stole huge sums of cash.  NWSC later issued a strong worded press release distancing its self from the thugs, who have now been captured by the Police.

This was a well-planned incident. From the tailoring of clothes, acquiring of blue helmets, identifying the victim to planning the day to attack .

These in my opinion are not ordinary thieves. Maybe police will share its findings. This is important because the public will certainly know the tricks used in this operation and ways on closing some security gaps can be identified.

I am reviewing this incident in order for us all to identify security gaps existing within our homes, schools, offices, shops, warehouses, and mitigate them.

Access control.

One area that must be improved and never compromise is access control. Different infrastructures will require different levels of access control.

Facilities like banks, National security installations, gas or petrol depots and cash centers may require high access controlled mechanisms and procedures compared to places like arcades, supermarkets, hospitals. This is due to risk associated with some places and severity it may cause if trespassed into.

Therefore, for homes especially those with few occupants, access should be highly regulated. In the case of the Kyambogo raid, the thugs shouldn’t have been allowed to enter the place in the first case since there was no case reported to NWSC.

Role of CCTV

At this point, I believe that we are all in agreement that CCTV is a huge game changer in the area of security. Quite a number of criminal cases have been addressed with the help of CCTV.

This case in particular was “popularized” by the CCTV footage circulated and certainly the recordings contributed immensely towards capture of these guys. Minus CCTV recordings the story would have been different. CCTV solves the following questions, the number of people involved in any situation, time of the act, day, clothing’s of the participants, their sex, possible age range, items taken, time the incident lasted, items used to conduct the crime. Basically, one security system-CCTV summarizes the incident.

CCTV helps the investigators, complainant, and suspects in appreciating the facts. Public expect police to work like witch Doctors.

That if I report my case today, police should find the suspect in the evening, process the file, align the suspect tomorrow in court with witnesses, exhibits, accomplices, and magistrate or judge convicts and sentences the suspect. No way. Its not as easy as that.

Its systems like CCTV that will aid police to quickly deal with crimes and criminals. Let’s have these systems in place one-to secure us but importantly to aid in investigations in case of any security breach.

Why keep huge amounts of money 

Over sh100m was reported lost in this incident. What has been recovered has not been mentioned and we also know the stories around recoveries!

Keeping huge amounts of money in ungazzeted places raises the appetite of criminals and even those that hitherto were not criminals. Its likely that these thugs had inside information that there was money.

They will then recce, scan the environment and only attack when they are fully aware of the existence of their target. Therefore, if money is in the bank, one won’t get such un invited guests.

I have failed to understand why people don’t want to keep their money in the bank. Police should sometimes commit less resources to such kind of people. This should be regarded as an act of recklessness and negligence on the part of the complainant.

Link your security systems to your phone 

Its very possible to link your security systems to your phone or tablet or computer.

The router which supports that function in a phone costs less than 500k depending on the size of your CCTV/Alarm system.

One will be able to view his home, office/shop/farm activities remotely and on time.

Live events. This helps in timely interventions in case of need. But as long as you continue to keep sh500m or sh100m in homes and shops but don’t want to commit sh3m for security systems, be prepared for Kyambogo like surprises and many more. Security systems should be part of BOQs of any project that one is undertaking.

Access control instructions

Its important that all enclosed infrastructures have access control instructions 

  • Don’t open when the incoming person or persons are not appointment
  • Obtain IDs and other necessary documentation from the visitor or person accessing premises.
  • Where possible use coded padlocks so that intruders can be trapped inside.
  • Don’t be close to the person coming in. keep a distance so that you In position to run, make an alarm or total escape.
  • When opening for strangers, keep the gate open until you certain of the people within your premises.

Generally, security systems can alone drastically reduce crime, support investigations and aid quick and realistic prosecution. By the way, criminals stay away when they detect that they are being either observed or that the premises targeted and highly secured.

Police with its own pen and paper can not do much especially when dealing with such kind of well planned crimes. Let’s support them with such small but meaningful interventions.

As I end my article today, by restating that:

Security camera installation in your home, office or building is one of the smartest decisions you can make in order to protect yourself from unexpected losses.

Security cameras besides keeping an eye on all your belongings also give you satisfaction and peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you can always keep an eye on the estate.

With the increase in the crime rates, CCTV cameras installation in your home and businesses has become a necessity.


 Samson Tinka is a safety and security consultant | Director Matts Secure Solutions Ltd tindsam@yahoo




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