Police in Nakuru have been criticised for locking up a 12-year-old boy with criminals in a cell.

The minor, who was arrested on Monday night, was accused of stealing a mobile phone belonging to a woman at Nakuru’s Pangani Estate on Saturday.

“My son admitted that he took the phone and gave it to his friend,” said Ms Jane Wanjiku, the boy’s mother.

The boy, a Class Four pupil at Shalom New Faith Academy, was arrested and taken to Bondeni Police Station after a woman accused him of stealing her phone.  

“Police harassed my son and called him names when we got to the station before locking him up in the cells,” said Ms Wanjiku.

She said that her son, was, however, released at 2am after she paid the complainant Sh5,000.

However, area police boss Samuel Obara dismissed the claims, saying that the boy had been released on a cash bail and was to return to the station.

“Being a minor, the boy could not be locked up in cells with adults,” said Mr Obara.