Vigilantism And Crime Control In Delta State (A Case Study Of Uvwie LGA)

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Vigilantism And Crime Control In Delta State (A Case Study Of Uvwie LGA)


Abstract


The objectives of this study are to; examine the nature of crime trends; investigate the effects of crime on the people; investigate the extent to which Vigilante groups have help in controlling crime; examine the effectiveness of vigilante groups in curtailing criminal activities in Uvwie local government area. A survey design was used to gather data through the instrument of questionnaires, one hundred (100) questionnaires were administered, ninety-four (94) were answered and retrieved. and tables and simple percentages were also used for data analysis. Furthermore, the theoretical framework for this study was social contract theory. Afterward findings revealed that the rate of crime was high before the formation of vigilante groups in its current form in Uvwie. However, it reduced after the formation of vigilant groups. Findings also reveal that armed robbery and burglary were crimes committed frequently and people have been victims at one point in time. Findings showed that members of the community believed that vigilante groups should be given the responsibility to control crime. And that the best way of solving the problem of crime in Nigeria is by increasing the activities of the vigilante groups. Therefore, it is recommended that vigilante activities should be carried out by well trained, able bodied persons recruited from the community and in order to enhance the relationship between the police and vigilante groups, there should be adequate legislative frame work for the operation of vigilante groups among others.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Sample size determination
  • 3.5 Instrumentation
  • 3.6 Reliability
  • 3.7 Validity
  • 3.8 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.9 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Provision of adequate security is a social pre-requisite for the survival of any society. Every society takes appropriate measures to protect the lives and property of people living within its boundaries. Business and social activities may not go on freely without adequate security (Okafor, 2017). This fundamental essence of security may be the reason why societies from time immemorial made efforts to police their neighborhoods in order to secure them from criminal victimization. Security has to do with the act of preventing and protecting in order to ensure that certain facilities, equipment, persons or activities are safe from damage, pilferage, destruction, murder or disruption (Odinkalu 2015).

However, Peace, safety and security are both necessary and indispensable requirements for development and the attainment of good quality of life for any human society. They provide the requisite enabling environment for citizens to live and work towards social, economic and political development of the society (Groenewald & Peake, 2014). Furthermore, insecurity impacts negatively on all citizens through losses of property, life and limb, or through loss of confidence from fear of violence. It is against this backdrop that the delivery of safety and security is considered a justifiable public good and the very essence of the state (Lubuva, 2014).

Vigilantism is not a recent development. Before 1900, many vigilant groups were formed in frontier areas of the United States. In 1851 and 1856, concerned citizens in San Francisco organized vigilante committees that forcibly restored peace and order. (World book encyclopedia, u-v20:318, Encyclopedia Americana, vol.24:204). In South Africa, vigilante activity is frequently justified as ‘filling a policing gap’ due to police inefficiency, corruption and conspiracy with criminals, practical failing in the criminal justice system. In Sierra- Leone, vigilante activities have been explained in terms of police ineffectiveness in combating crimes (Brownyn, 2011).

In Nigeria, vigilantism existed in the pre-colonial era. Human Right Watch and Center for law enforcement and education report, (2012) noted that “vigilante and other self – defense groups currently operating in Nigeria have roots that reach deep into the country’s history. In the colonial era, some though not all independent local communities, especially in the South east maintained their own standing Army to defend their territory against the threat of invasion from neighbouring communities. Although there was no equivalent modern-day structure at that time, some parallels can be drawn between these groups which were created by local communities for their own protection, and the more recently formed self –defense groups”. This is also true in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State where vigilantism was used as a means of both social and crime control before the advent of colonial rule. The proliferation of vigilante groups in contemporary Nigeria particularly in Uvwie Local Government area of Delta State is a response to crimes and criminality that have not only increased in degree, scope and volume but also have witnessed an unprecedented change in techniques, mode of operation and sophistication between 1998 and 1999 (wake of fourth republic) and the apparent failure of the Nigeria police to rise up to the occasion. Igbo (2011:219) has stated that “the apparent failure of Nigeria police to control the increasing wave of crime has led to unilateral public action against crime and criminals in some major cities of Nigeria particularly in the South east of the country”.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In recent years, many communities in Nigeria have witnessed crimes of various descriptions. Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State is not an exception. Thus, crime is becoming a serious problem in contemporary Nigeria. The police who are the primary agent in the fight against crime are ineffective. Their ineffectiveness may be as a result of the fact that they are under-staffed, under-equipped, and corrupt and lacked public cooperation. These have created problem of under policing in Nigeria including Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. Thus, violent and property crimes are committed on daily basis without detection and prosecution, Igbo (2011:219). Many people are being dispossessed of their valuable property and others are killed or maimed for life by armed bandits. Many people hardly sleep in their houses at night for fear of criminal victimization. Those who sleep in their houses at Night do so at their own peril. Consequently, Uvwie Local Government Area has of recent been gripped by insecurity and lawlessness as armed robbery and other violent crimes reached unprecedented levels. Hence, vigilantism seems to be gaining more prominence as agent of crime control in Uvwie Local Government Area. Several vigilante groups now operate in both rural and urban areas in Nigeria. Residents see vigilante groups as an outfit they can always rely on in terms of security. Put differently, the public is skeptical about the ability of Nigeria Police to provide adequate security services alone without the involvement of the community security initiatives like Vigilante groups and other Corporate Security Guards.

Generally speaking, when one listen to or watch the news nowadays, read the newspapers or discuss with other persons, most stories up for discursions ranges from one form of ill treatment or the other. From killing, to steeling and armed robbery, human trafficking down to the corruption found in almost all system of government with all their agencies, the stones are all the same. Negatively some of these illegalities don’t even have to be or sound negative. They can first be against morality like prostitution, illegal gambling, illegal doing things, or even racism.
However, vigilante groups are important in every human societies, numerous studies have been conducted, but they did not provide explanations to the impact of vigilante groups on crime control. It is for this reason that this study is conducted to fill the gap. Thus, this study, therefore, aimed at finding out the impact of vigilante groups on crime control in Uvwie L.G.A.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this research is to ascertain the contributions of Vigilante groups in crime control in Uvwie L.G.A.

The specific objectives sought to;

  1. Examine the nature of crime trends in Uvwie L.G.A.
  2. Investigate the effects of crime on the people in Uvwie L.G.A.
  3. Investigate the extent to which Vigilante groups have help in controlling crime in Uvwie L.G.A.
  4. Examine the effectiveness of Vigilante groups in curtailing criminal activities in Uvwie L.G.A.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the study.

  1. What is the nature of crime trends in Uvwie L.G.A presently?
  2. To what extent does crime affect people in Uvwie L.G.A?
  3. To what extent has Vigilante groups helped in controlling crime in Uvwie L.G.A?
  4. Have the activities of Vigilante helped in curtailing crimes in Uvwie?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. From the theoretical point of view, this study will add to the existing literature on vigilantism. It will also build up a data upon which future research can be based or serve as a point of reference for similar studies.

From the practical point of view, this study will show the security gap created in both rural and urban communities and how vigilante groups have tended to make up for this vacuum. To this end, this may stimulate the interest of the government in providing adequate police services in both rural and urban communities or modify and assist vigilante groups to complement security efforts of the police.

In another development, this study will be of great benefit to law enforcement agencies and other stake holders in their quest for police reform. In general, it will stimulate further research in vigilantism and policing.


1.6. Scope of the Study

This study is centered on the impact of vigilante groups on crime control in Uvwie L.G.A. of Delta state. The population of the study will consist of both males and females, young and old, resident in Uvwie Local Government Area. On the other hand, the collection of both primary and secondary data on the field would not be completed without challenges which include time, financial constraint, communication etc. and therefore, the research is deemed to be carried out within a session of an academic year.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

There was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Vigilante Group:

According to Chambers 20th century dictionary, vigilantism is an authorized body which in the absence or inefficiency of regular government exercises power of arrest, punishment etc.

Crime:

According to Criminologist Paul Tappan defines crime as “an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law, committed without defence or justification, and sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor.

Crime Control:

Crime control or crime prevention refers to the recognition, anticipation, and appraisal of a crime risk, and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it.

Vigilantism:

The word vigilantism is of Spanish origin and means: “watchman” or “guard” but its Latin root is vigil, which means “awake” or “observe” (Johnston, 1996).


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

Chapter five is the summary of the whole work, it spans through the whole research and present the major findings of the study. Thereafter, recommendations are made based on the findings derived from the study.


5.2 Summary of Findings

The aim of this research was to evaluate the contributions of vigilante groups in crime control in Uvwie L.G.A. Furthermore, a survey method was used in the work in order to gather information for analysis through the quantitative instrument of questionnaires. And the data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using the simple percentages.

The followings are the findings of the research:

  1. Findings revealed that vigilante groups exist in various localities in Uvwie LGA.
  2. Findings further indicated that the rate of crime was high before the formation of vigilante groups in its current form.
  3. It was found out that the rate of crime became low after the formation of vigilante groups.
  4. Findings also showed that armed robbery and burglary were crimes committed frequently.
  5. It was discovered that many people had fallen victim of crime in their area.
  6. In addition, the data showed that members of community see vigilante group members on daily. Hence, the vigilante groups were perceived to be effective in controlling crime.
  7. The data revealed that increasing crime wave led to loss of life and property, disruption of business activities and sleepless night
  8. Finally, findings showed that members of the community believed that vigilante groups should be given the responsibility to control crime. And that the best way of solving the problem of crime in Nigeria is by increasing the activities of the vigilante groups.

5.3 Conclusion

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the contributions of vigilante groups in crime control in Uvwie L.G.A of Delta state. The proliferation of vigilante groups in contemporary Nigeria and the controversy surrounding its existence necessitated this study. The data collected indicated that vigilante groups exist in Uvwie L.G.A. It also showed that the rate of crime was high before the formation of vigilante groups in its current form.

However, crime rate was low after the formation of vigilante groups. It was also discovered that high rate of crime and police ineffectiveness led to the formation of vigilante groups in its current form. More so, vigilante groups were perceived to be effective in crime control. So, community members believed that vigilante groups should be given the responsibility to control crime and so on.


5.4 Recommendations

The following recommendations are made

  1. Vigilante activities should be carried out by well trained, able bodied persons recruited from the community.
  2. State government should encourage vigilante activities. Incentives and adequate logistics should be made available to vigilante groups. This is to ensure effectiveness in their operation.
  3. To enhance the relationship between the police and vigilante groups, there should be adequate legislative frame work for the operation of vigilante groups.
  4. Vigilante group members should be trained in aspects of crime detection and knowledge of the law. This is to enable them to operate within the provision of the law.
  5. Traditional methods of crime control should be encouraged to complement the effort of the security agencies – but the rituals aspect that are repugnant should be jettison to natural justice in order to gain the
  6. Finally, the researcher recommends that further research be carried out on vigilante group, joint Police/Army Patrol and Law Enforcement in Nigeria.

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