Community Policing As A Strategy For Reduction Of Crime In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Community Policing As A Strategy For Reduction Of Crime In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine community policing as a strategy for reduction of crime in Nigeria using Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State as a case study. The study was carried out to evaluate the prevalence of crime in Kano State, establish the extent to which community policing has succeeded in reducing crime rates in Kano state, ascertain the various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State and identify the factors that obstruct effective implementation of community policing in Kano state. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of residents in Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State.In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses was tested chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the extent of the prevalence of crime in Kano State is high. Furthermore, the study revealed that the various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State includes: partnering in sharing information, investigating crimes, arresting and prosecuting criminals, gathering intelligence and acting on it, partnering with the society and making patrols. Therefore, it is recommended that the Nigerian Police and other security agencies should put more effort to improve on their relationship with the members of the public in other to gain the confidence of the people for easy flow of information because without information by both parties, community policing will die away. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • TITLE PAGE
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of terms
  • 1.10 Organization Of The Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Review of Concepts
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Review of Empirical Studies

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Sample size determination
  • 3.5 Sample size selection technique and procedure
  • 3.6 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.7 Method of data collection
  • 3.8 Method of data analysis
  • 3.9 Validity of the study
  • 3.10 Reliability of the study
  • 3.11 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.3 Testing Hypothesis

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • REFERENCES
  • APPENDIX

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The Civil Society Panel on Police Reforms in Nigeria report (2012) reflects a range of concern about the divisions in communication between police officers and the public in Nigeria. The report suggests that this division in the police/community relationship has been identified as an inherent hurdle in the system of policing in Nigeria. This is in terms of the ability of the police to really position itself as the constitutionally recognised and trusted security agent to which citizens of all categories could take their security concerns in Nigeria. The public perception in relation to lack of public confidence and the corresponding cultural gap has assumed a level whereby members of community are not willing to give useful information to the police in the task of preventing and controlling crime in Nigeria. This situation has been identified as one of the main problems in the implementation of various policing policies and programmes and this actually led to the call for the introduction of community policing in Nigeria (Civil Society Panel on Police Reform in Nigeria Report, 2012).

Community policing or neighborhood-oriented policing can be defined as a philosophy or way of life and a proactive, decentralized approach designed to reduce crime, disorder and the fear of crime. Community policing emphasizes full partnership between the community and its police in identifying and ameliorating local crime and disorder problems. The philosophy of community policing is built on the belief that people deserve and have a right to say on how their communities are policed in exchange for their involvement and support (Liou & Savage, 1996: 165). The police cannot effectively prevent and investigate crime without the willing participation of the public. Community policing therefore transforms the police from being an emergency squad in fighting crime into a proactive organization with ready solutions (Thacher, 2001).

The concept of community policing, largely popularized in the United States of America and the United Kingdom from the 1980s onwards is based on the principle of coordination and consultation between the police and the policed, on the definition of security needs and on the implementation of ways of preventing and curbing crimes and of enhancing safety. The concept is often said to have its origins in an article by two American scholars named James Wilson and George Kelling. They argued that decaying neighbourhoods bred crime and disorder hence to prevent crime, disorder had to be contained (Ruteere & Pommerolle, 2003).

In Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa pioneered in implementation of community policing (Ruteere & Pommerolle, 2003). It follows from a long experience in the townships of fear and hatred of the police during apartheid together with the dependence of private security initiatives. After the period of apartheid, South Africa embraced the democratic aspect of community policing including its principles in the 1992 constitution.

Hills (2014) argued that the promotion of police and community partnership in Nigeria had been carried out by a range of politicians, practitioners, and criminal justice scholars who firmly believe in facilitating effective policing through partnership strategy. This kind of partnership strategy tends to serve as a means to build trust between the local people and the police. As part of demonstration of the tendency to ensure robust relationship between the police and community, various regimes of the federal government of Nigeria have stated the readiness to promote ideals of community policing in the country.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Following the trend of recent news, there is an increase in the perceptions of crime and insecurity such as insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, youth restiveness and cultism in the country (Adedeji, 2001). This is a clear indication that the police-community partnership strategy introduced for relatively over a decade as argued by Dickson (2007), has not really achieved its original aims and objectives in Nigeria. To buttress this point further, even in recent times, there was an official policy statement credited to the President, Federal Government of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari reiterating the concern of the government of Nigeria to give priority to community policing on the nation’s security agenda (Sun Newspaper, 2015).

The much attention channeled at insecurity in the country is a pointer to the urgent need to foster collaboration between the police and the public so to reduce the risk of crime in Nigeria. However, as promising as his Presidential remark, this event was not the first of its kind to give prioritize to police/community partnership option in the country. Rather, successive administrative regimes from the time of former President Ibrahim Babangida, had also taken similar policy directions. The bane in this regard is the lack of fundamental knowledge of the nature, dynamics and risk factors associated with community policing in Nigeria as well as how effective this strategy was in reducing crime in other sister countries of Africa. This lack of substantial knowledge about the culture that supports community policing has basically made its implementation absolutely difficult, not to talk of finding the suggestions to solve the problem of crime in Nigeria. Meanwhile, as noted by Hills (2014), to foster partnership between the police and community is also a function of trust, but that trust as a common denominator for this kind of relationship is problematic in Nigeria.

Despite the immediacy and enormity of the challenges associated with crime and insecurity in Nigeria at the moment, there has been surprisingly lack of adequate studies conducted on community policing involving community members in Nigeria, and how its culture might be better improved, in terms of policy and practice. However, this research would not cover entire population in Nigeria area due to size, time and financial constraints. The study therefore focuses on the police and community in Kano State.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study was to identify the impact of community policing in crime control in Kano state. Specifically the study seeks to;

  1. Evaluate the prevalence of crime in Kano State.
  2. Establish the extent to which community policing has succeeded in reducing crime rates in Kano state.
  3. Ascertain the various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State.
  4. Identify the factors that obstruct effective implementation of community policing in Kano state

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions for this study were:

  1. What is the extent of the prevalence of crime in Kano State?
  2. To what extent to has community policing succeeded in reducing crime rates in Ikeja of Plateau state?
  3. What are the various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State?
  4. What are the factors that obstruct effective implementation of community policing in Kano state?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: Community policing does not contribute to crime reduction in Kano State.

Ho: Community policing contributes to crime reduction in Kano State.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The study upon completion would reveal the impact of community policing in crime reduction. Reduction of crime will lead to improvement in social and economic development hence benefiting the economy and the quality of life for citizens. The rapidly changing trends of crime require the adoption of new approaches to law enforcement. Through community policing therefore, the police and citizens have a central role to play to improve safety and security.

It was therefore important to conduct an academic study for deeper understanding of broad dynamics for crime reduction in the country. This study would to generate baseline data which can be used to evaluate the success of community policing and make decisions to expand the programme

The study will also proide Deeper understanding of community policing which is likely to provide essential information for policy makers in the government and other stakeholders for concerted efforts to reduce crime in the society. This includes improving the level of mutual trust between the community and the police to improve cooperation, adequate involvement of community members in security initiatives and access to justice, and allocating adequate resources to community policing programmes.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study explored community policing as a strategy for reduction of crime in Nigeria. The study would analyzed the perceptions of residents in Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State on community policing and crime reduction in Kano State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Community:

A small well defined geographical area consisting of residents involved in community policing programs.

Community Policing:

Is an initiative where security agencies work in an accountable and proactive partnership with the community towards mobilizing resources to promote long term community safety and support of security initiatives.

Reduction of Crime Rates:

Means the difference between the initial and final crime rates after introduction of community policing programs.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on community policing as a strategy for reduction of crime in Nigeria using Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State as a case study.The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine community policing as a strategy for reduction of crime in Nigeria using Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at to evaluate the prevalence of crime in Kano State, establish the extent to which community policing has succeeded in reducing crime rates in Kano state, ascertain the various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State and identify the factors that obstruct effective implementation of community policing in Kano state.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents areresidents in Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. The extent of the prevalence of crime in Kano State is high.
  2. The extent community policing succeeded in reducing crime rates in Albasu of Kano state is low.
  3. The various ways through which community policing is being implemented to address and deter criminals from committing crimes in Kano State includes: partnering in sharing information, investigating crimes, arresting and prosecuting criminals, gathering intelligence and acting on it, partnering with the society and making patrols.
  4. The factors that obstruct effective implementation of community policing in Kano state includes: low levels of basic mutual trust, lack of an enabling legislative and administrative environment, poor public image of police, declining police resources.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. The Nigerian Police and other security agencies should put more effort to improve on their relationship with the members of the public in other to gain the confidence of the people for easy flow of information because without information by both parties, community policing will die away.
  2. The state government should also help in the provision of sophisticated arms, patrol vans/ power bikes, rain coat, and all other crime fighting arms to both the Police and other security agencies to help them contribute effectively for a better crime free society.
  3. Both the government and the public should see the need to adequate reward and motivate working/serving security officers (police/members of the neighbourhood watch) who carry out their assignment diligently, so that others will see the need for hard work and then put in their very best.
  4. Security agencies should not betray the trust of the people by leaking information given to them by the people to the hoodlums. For the security agencies to do well, they must have access to information that comes from the people who know the criminals and their likely time of operation.
  5. Other security agencies outside the police should hand over any suspected criminal to the police for proper and thorough investigation and subsequent prosecution in the court of law, so that the law can have its effects.
  6. Qualified personnel (that is the people with passion and desire for the work of security) should be employed for the job.
  7. Both the Police and the public should strive to imbibe respect for human rights, have equal justice before the law and see themselves as one indivisible entity in the fight for criminality.

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