Assessment Of Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Crime Among Youths In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Assessment Of Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Crime Among Youths In Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Crime and unemployment are two of the most talked-about social issues in recent years. In the economic literature, however, unemployment and its economic implications, as well as its drivers in the development process of nations, have received far greater attention. Economically, crime is a significant activity that, according to Becker (1968), is almost entirely ignored by economists. Because of this omission, economics of crime is a relatively new area of economic investigation, aided by the fact that, as some surveys and studies have indicated in Nigeria, there has been a significant rise in illegal activities over the last four decades (CLEEN, 2006; Omotor, 2009 among others). According to modern economic philosophy, Fleisher (1963) fired the first salvo on the economics of crime in a published study titled “The influence of unemployment on juvenile delinquency.” The aim of this paper, which examines the links between unemployment and youth crime, is to empirically identify economic determinants of criminal behavior (Buonanno, 2003). Instead, Becker’s seminal paper (1968) is regarded as a groundbreaking attempt to architect a paradigm that resulted in the first model of criminal choice in economic theory. Becker (1968:176), quoted by Buonanno (2003), said that “some people become criminals because of the financial… benefits from crime relative to legal work, taking into account the probability of arrest and prosecution, as well as the severity of punishment.” To put it another way, the decision to commit crime is based on a rational decision made on the basis of a maximization framework in which economic agents compare the costs and benefits of legitimate and illegitimate activities, taking into account the severity of the punishment when likely apprehended and convicted, as well as the expected consequences. Because such a behavioural propensity has multiple facets, it must be studied from a variety of perspectives (economics, geography, law, psychiatry, psychology and sociology). Poverty, social exclusion, income inequality, cultural and family background, religion, unemployment, education, age, gender, race, urbanization, and a slew of other economic and socio-demographic factors all play a role in influencing an individual’s mind and behavior when making decisions (Buonanno and Montolio, 2008; Gumus, 2004; Omotor, 2009; and, Kustepeli and Onel, 2006). As a result, criminal activity is not limited to particular economic systems or leadership types. Furthermore, crimes are not exclusive to different stages of economic development. This isn’t to claim that criminal acts are the same or similar in all countries.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Nigeria’s crime rate has reached alarming levels. Nigeria can be considered to have a crime problem in view of the growing crime scenario and the ineffectiveness of the crime control apparatuses. Nigeria is one of the world’s emerging countries, and it is plagued by escalating crime waves, criminal intent, and varied degrees of delinquency. Since the 1980s, Nigeria has been on the worldwide crime map (Dambazau, 2007). Armed robbery, murder, rape, auto theft, arson, fraud, bribery and corruption, food and drug adulteration, gambling, smuggling, human trafficking, abduction, drug trafficking, money laundering, internet scams, advanced fee fraud (419), and other criminal activities are among the crimes that are committed. According to a source, in the Ajegunle district of Lagos, there is a “training school” for jobless teenagers to become armed robbers. According to the allegation, the claimed training school covers devising cooperative methods, mounting an attack, and fleeing with spoils. They are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-eight. The “training school” also handles the recruit’s interview. It was also revealed that the bandits make plans for which areas to raid and how to operate various types of fire arms and ammunition at the training school. Suspects were apprehended during a morning training session in which they were working out procedures on a number of houses that would be raided during the week (Daily Sketch, 1990; Aremu and Ahmed, 2011). Sadly, there have been reports of crimes committed primarily by youths in almost every part of the country. Criminality has been ingrained in the nation’s culture.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To evaluate the socio-economic factors influencing youth crime in Nigeria.
  2. To assess if employment would reduce crimes in Nigeria.
  3. To assess the impact of crimes in rural areas.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What are the socio-economic factors influencing youth crime in Nigeria.
  2. Would employment would reduce crimes in Nigeria.
  3. What are the impact of crimes in rural areas.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research work would greatly benefit students and scholars who would want to carry out the same research work and are sourcing for work materials and also to the government as the findings in this study can help reduce crime.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research if focused on the evaluation of socio-economic factors influencing youth crime in Nigeria. Warri, Delta state was used as a case study.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

Due to time and financial constraints, the research was limited to companies within Warri, Delta state.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors


An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.


The period between childhood and adult age.

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