An Evaluation Of The Impact Of The Nigerian Police Force In Crime Management
This research project on “An Evaluation of the impact of the Nigeria Police Force in Crime Management” (A case study of Anambra State Police command) is being carried out for the purpose of enlightening the Nigeria Police and the general public on the primary and vital role of the Nigeria Police Force with regards to crime management thereby determining whether they have performed poorly or satisfactorily. The first chapter of the project is an introduction that consists of the background of the study, statement of the problem, limitation of the study, significant of the study, research hypothesis etc. The second chapter contains the literature review, which presents the necessary literature conducted by the researcher and some past views.
In addition, there is chapter three in which the researcher selected a total sample of 205 members of the Nigeria Police Force and some members of the general public. The police stations contacted were Inland Town Police Stations, Figgie Police Station at Onitsha in Anambra State. The data collected were analyzed in chapter four in which simple percentage was used while the hypothesis were calculated using the Chi-square method. Chapter five contains restatement of the problem, discussion of findings, summary, conclusion and recommendation. However, in the course of this research, the researcher discovered that the general public, do not see the police as being effective in crime management in Nigeria and that the relationship between the police and the general public is not very cordial. Therefore, the researcher recommends community policing and the use of scientific method in carrying out investigation as these will help to improve cordial relationship between the general public and the police in addition to helping to stem the emotion of crime.
1.1 Background of the Study
Section 214 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “there shall be a Police Force for Nigeria which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force”. The Nigeria Police Force is the executive arm of the Government and is headed by the Inspector General of Police who is appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council.
The increasing role of the Police has become an important factor in the present day Nigeria. Crime wave has blown to alarming proportion and every citizen endeavors to safeguard the properties of his own seat. In the process, efforts are made by the Police to provide services that in effect cement over some of the cracks in the structure of the society (Bunyard, 1999). Police activities and tasks have expanded and become tougher with changing trend but police objectives have remained unaltered.
To stem the eruption of crime is primary and vital objectives of the police. The activities of uniformed policemen and women patrolling either on foot or by motor vehicle still fear on criminals or confidence into other members of the society. This confidence could be strengthened through public enlightenment, workshops and symposia on crime and its evil effects.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force in their effort to manage crime have adopted some measures, such measures include the use of photographic, machine finger print technicians, forensic scientists, use of animals (e.g. Dogs, camels, horses), formation of special squad to investigate a special kind of crime, community policing a common system of criminal record as well as making on-spot assessment of scenes of incidents and improving general driving behaviour.
All these efforts are geared towards controlling or preventing the increasing rate of extra judicial killings in the country, arm robbery raping, illegal oil bunkering, child-kidnapping, assassination, women/child trafficking, as well as bribery and corruption, and to ensure credible election in the country as was witness in the past elections (2011 Nigeria election).
It is pertinent to note that the interest of the writer was first aroused following reports of accusations amongst the citizens, government and the public as to who is responsible for the increasing wave of crime in Nigeria.
For this reason, the researcher considers it necessary to evaluate the impact of the Nigeria Police Force in crime management.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Though a greater percentage of Nigerians view the Nigeria Police Force with disclaim often describing them as a motley crowd of lazy. Inefficient corrupt and uniformed men and women. Some Nigerians still believes that the force are tackling the not in the force and repositioning it to effectively carry out its assigned constitutional role of policing the entire nation.
In the course of this research, it was discovered that the police face several number of problems which hinder them from carrying out their job effectively of which if these problems are not addressed, the police will continue to represent danger and a corporate hazard into the generality of Nigerians.
These problems are:
- Poor and irregular payment of salaries and remuneration
- Shortage of arms to carry out duties
- Poor training facilities and short period training
- Constant transfer
- Poor motivation
- Fear of superior order/political interference
- Poor Working condition
- Long hours of work
- Bribery and corruption
- Shortage of staff as compared to the population
1.3 Objective of the Study
The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of this Nigeria Police Force in crime management using Anambra State Police Command as case study. It is also aimed at identifying these problems that tend to make the police less effective and proffer solutions to such problems.
The research also wishes to educate the police more on their roles and the importance of effective crime management.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This research work will be of immense benefit to the Nigeria Police Force in particular and to the general public (Nigerians). It will also help the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to know more about their roles, their problems and some suggested solutions to their problems.
Government will also find this research useful as it will help them to know the areas in which they should offer adequate help to the police 80 as to effectively carry out their constitutional roles.
In addition, students and lecturers will also benefit from this research work, as it will help them, in making research about the police. The citizens will also be able to know the importance of supporting the police especially as it concerns giving them information about criminal and criminal hideouts.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions will serve as a quid cline to this research.
- Is the relationship between the police and the public cordial?
- Do the police have adequate arms and well trained personnel to fight crime and criminals?
- Do the police organize a comprehensive training programme conducive for qualitative policing?
- Do the police investigate a crime report before making arrest?
- The statement that a suspect is a criminal is it true or false?
- Do the police have enough rooms for prisoners?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
- HI Sufficient training and crime fighting facilities lead to effective and efficient management by the Nigeria Police Force.
- Ho Sufficient training and crime fighting facilities do not lead to effective and efficient crime management by the Nigeria Police Force.
- HI Discharged criminals do change for good after experiencing prison conditions.
- Ho Discharged criminal do not change for good after experiencing prison conditions.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work covers and is centered on an evaluation of the impact of the Nigeria Police Force in crime management. (Anambra State Police Command), with a view to evaluating the performance of the Nigeria Police Force in crime management in Anambra State in particular and Nigeria in general.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The researcher is of the opinion that there are some terms used in this research work that might not be so easy to understand by the reader especially these with little or no knowledge of police terms. Therefore, for the sake of convenience, some important terms are defined below.
According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, the police refers to an organization whose job is to make people obey the law and to prevent and solve crime.
2. Community Policing:
This means that the police should partner with residents, business owners, community leaders, government departments etcetera in solving and improving the quality of life of members of the community.
According to John Gavs, organization is the relation of efforts and capacities of individuals and groups engaged upon a common task in such a way as to secure the desired objective with the least friction is done and those engaged in the enterprise. To Louis Allen (1987 – 181), organization is the process of identifying and grouping the work to be performed, defining and delegating responsibility and authority and establishing relationship for the purpose of enabling people to work more effectively together in accomplishing objectives.
This refers to activities that involve breaking, the law
This is the process by which the police carefully examine the facts of a situation especially crime to find out the truth about the crime as it happened.
6. Police Station:
This is a police office which is commanded by an officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.
7. Police Post:
A police post is the lowest branch in the structure of police and is commanded by an officer of not below the rank of corporal.
An amount of money that is paid to a worker for the job done.
These are weapons which be used by the police in fighting crime, example guns.
10. On Spot Assessment:
This is the ability of the police to go to the scene of an incident to determine how the incident occurred.
This is the process of trying to prove in a law court that somebody is guilty of a crime.
The usually path followed by someone (police) on duty.
This is the process of taking somebody into custody so as to answer chargers of crime.
Conclusion and Recommendation
This study has examined police performance in crime prevention and control from the perspectives of the citizenry that the police are expected to protect. It also assess some factors, which tends to work against efficient policing. The overall picture which has emerged is quite unsatisfactory, it calls for quite substantial improvement in the police methods, budgetary allocation, facilities and equipment, and police/public relationship. The various views on police, and crime prevention and control were highlighted in the literature review. In collecting data from the field, the major instrument used were in-depth interview supplemented with focus groups discussion to enrich the data for the current study (Kitzinger, 1995).
The findings of this study confirmed the reality of the problem of the Nigeria police which has resulted in its inability to effectively perform its primary role of crime prevention and control. The findings were also discussed in line with the objective of assessing police performance in crime prevention and control in Nigeria. The current study findings include the fact that the socio political order inhibits effective police performance according majority of the respondents. It was the argument of the respondents that the situation has resulted in high level unemployment which has driven many able bodied men into crime which is difficult or overwhelming for the police to deal with. The findings from the in-depth interview further indicated that the crime problem in the country has gone beyond what the police alone could control. Additionally, it is evident from the study that the creation of various para military agencies to assist the police in crime prevention and control will not likely solve the crime problem in the country.
One notable finding of this research is with regards to the fact that the nature of relationship between the police and the public which is negative has had adverse effect on police performance in relation to crime prevention and control in Nigeria. It is important to note that Odinkalu (2004) has also noted that an honest analysis of the working of the Nigeria police indicate that police is never a friend of the average Nigerian. Hence it is always difficult for the police to receive cooperation from the civil populace in their primary function of crime prevention and control.
Similarly, the responses from the in-depth interviews conducted showed that private security is a welcome development in the country since it is glaring that the police has not lived up to expectations of the general public in controlling the crime problem. However, most respondents pointed out that the private security needs to be properly supervised by the police or the government to guard against abuse of power. Nwizu (2004) has noted that police alone cannot effectively prevent and control crime in Nigeria. It is the conclusion of Nwizu (2004) that the organization require inter-agency cooperation for effective crime control in Nigeria.
One important recommendation that has emerged from the current study is the need to improve the conditions of service of the Nigeria police to motivate them for the responsibilities attached to policing in a young democratic system such as Nigeria. A police/public relations committee has being established since 1964 and they are in place in most police commands. However, there is a necessity to foster and strengthen it as already indicated by Odinkalu (2004). Public talks, workshops, public enlightenment programs and seminars by the police and members of the civil society will help foster this relationship. The police/public relations unit also need to be overhauled to actually make information on police activities or general public affairs available to members of the public. They should adequately exploit publicity as mean of increasing cooperation between police and the public.
Corruption seems to have become institutionalized by policemen at check points where they collect money unashamedly in the full glare of passengers and other road users. Every checkpoint become by itself a toll gate, especially for commercial vehicle, but with the difference that the proceeds went into the private pickets of the policemen. As noted by previous studies on policing in Nigeria, a significant reductions in police corruption in Nigeria can be achieved if the momentum for reform is maintained and by eliminating as many situations as possible which currently exposed policemen to corruption, and by controlling exposure where corruption hazard are unavoidable (Igbinovia, 1982; Karimu & Anambrayikanmi, 2012). Other measures should include elimination of certain fiscal functions, good leadership and that recruitment personnel investigations must be instituted (Igbinovia, 1985).
For the police to effectively prevent and control crime, there is the need to recognize the importance of different private security organizations to work side-by-side and hand –in –hand with the police and other government agencies of crime prevention and control as obtained in other societies like the United States and Canada. As such, if our society is to be crime free, the government is advised to give some legal backings to the exiting private security institutions. In addition, relationship between police and other agencies with whom they are expected to come into contact and to cooperate should be improved for effective performance in crime prevention and control.
5.3 Limitations of the Study
It was difficult obtaining much information from the civil population utilized for this study because of the fear that whatever information provided could be used against them in the nearest future. This attitude could have been said to be due to the lack of adequate knowledge of the workings of the police organization. Coupled with this is the fact that most people dread the police and as a result will do anything to avoid even talking about them. To ensure that the participants fully participated in this study, they were informed of their rights and that their anonymity and confidentiality will be protected by ensuring that any information provided will be used only for the current study (Creswell, 2009). The respondents were also informed that no information obtained will have reference to their names.
This study was carried in one state of Nigeria, therefore information obtained only relies on information with citizens of this state supplemented with information from journals and internet- based documented source materials. The participants’ selection was based on convenience samples and therefore suffers from lack of representation, sampling and selection bias (Lanier & Briggs, 2014). Also, due to the fact that the study was confined to citizens of a state in Nigeria, caution should be exercised in generalizing results to citizens of other states in the country (Creswell, 2009; Lanier & Briggs, 2014). It is therefore suggested that future research should involve population of other states in Nigeria. Also, future research might considered quantitative design which was not used in this study.
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