Security Implications of Policing Strategies used in Curbing Cattle Rustling in Samburu County, Kenya

  • Timothy Kirwaki Leparie
  • Joyce Kaguta
  • Matthew Theuri
Keywords: cattle rustling, disarmaments, police deployment, illegal arms, community policing, policing strategies


This study analyzed security implications of policing strategies used in curbing cattle rustling in Samburu. Specific objectives included: to analyze the security effect of disarmaments, assess the security implication of police deployment, examine the security impact of curbing illegal arms trade, and determine the security impact of community policing as policing strategies for curbing cattle rustling in Samburu. The study was guided by the routine activity theory; rational choice theory, and structural theory of conflict. The target population for the study was 524 individuals which were categorized as church leaders, local chiefs and their assistants, deputy county commissioner, national police unit, community elders, and teachers of Samburu County. Purposive and stratified random sampling were used to identify 172 respondents by using Kathuri and Pals sampling formula of 20-30% where the upper limit of 30% of the target population was applied. A semi-structure questionnaire and interview guide were used for collection of primary data. Quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics with the help of SPSS version 23 and Excel worksheets whereas qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Analyzed quantitative data was presented using tables while qualitative data was presented using narratives. Based on the study findings, more than 48% of the respondents revealed that disarmament efforts, police deployment, curbing of illegal trade, and community policing were concurrently applied in curbing of cattle rustling in Samburu, with significant positive outcomes. Other critical players in the fight against livestock theft in the area included the Kenya police reservists, NGOs, churches, and community leadership, among others. However, persistent cattle rustling practices called for more collaborative efforts necessary for enhanced curtailing of the menace through long-lasting solutions. The study recommendations included the fact that the government should always conduct disarmament exercises in a holistic manner; more police-public partnership should be encouraged; collaborative efforts should be increased to eradicate illegal firearms; and that community policing structures should be enhanced to monitor and report cases of livestock theft to relevant government authorities.