AN ASSESSMENT OF RECORD KEEPING CHALLENGES BY NIGERIA POLICE FORCE
The need for good record-keeping and information-sharing practices has taken on added significance in today’s global environment. Not only do good records provide crucial internal information, law enforcement agencies now need to communicate agency-to-agency and across States in order to protect the Nation’s citizens. Crime Record Management System has been implemented as an accessible Web-based query application, which provides timely and accurate information on Offenders.
The software implemented is a typical automated crime records management system, based on client-server architecture allowing data storage and criminal record interchange between the police. Since manual crime records keeping by Nigerian police has been bedevil with high cost of saving data, as it is mostly associated with paperwork, frequent case of missing files because records is not properly secured and lack of good storage media which makes retrieval of records quite stressful and has leads to data redundancy… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Background of Study
Before the advent of the British, Traditional law enforcement had existed in Nigeria. When the British came, they accorded some sort of recognition to some of their “police force” which were been used by the native rules to enforce their local laws and native judgment. However the first police force was established in 1861 by the British colonial administration in the territories known today as Nigeria. This 100-man contingent was essentially a consular protection force based in Lagos, which later became known as the “Hausa Force,” so-named after the ethnicity of the men recruited into the unit.
As the British expanded their reach to the east and north, they formed additional police forces comprised largely of recruits from outside the communities in which they were to be deployed. These early forces were notorious for their abuses and general lawlessness. In 1891, the consul general of the Oil Rivers Protectorate in what is presently eastern Nigeria expressed shock at the “numerous acts of lawlessness and looting” by the police, who were commonly referred to in the community as the “forty thieves” in police uniform.
Similarly, the governor of Lagos colony acknowledged in 1897 that the Hausa Force “no doubt behaved very badly in the hinterland by looting, stealing and generally taking advantage of their positions.” The primary purpose of the colonial police was to protect British economic and political interests. The police accomplished this objective through the often brutal subjugation of indigenous communities that resisted colonial occupation.
The use of violence, repression, and excessive use of force by the police has characterized law enforcement in Nigeria ever since. The British merged Lagos colony and the southern and northern protectorates in 1913 and named the new colony Nigeria… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Statement of the Problem
It is obviously believed that the police force is charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property and assuring safety and well-being of all citizens through the detection and apprehension of criminals, prevention and control of crime. Nevertheless there are still some shortcomings:
- Poor criminal record keeping in short and long term bases which makes the processing and retrieval difficult… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The objective is to design and develop an application that will help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the police security measures in keeping criminal records, and to perform the following functions:
- To provide the crime investigator(s) with timely and accurate information about a particular crime in a specified location… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The Concept of Record Management Practices
Records management practice is an essential component of office administration. An effective records management program allows the organization to render better customer service, provides legal defensibility and leads to improved profitability. Hence, it is necessary to award high priority to records management to avoid organizational problems that may arise owing to poor handling of office records (Robles &Langemo, 2016).
As much as people try to deny it, office organization has a distinct link with productivity. The quicker an organization can locate a file or important legal document, the more productive it will be (Peters, 2011. That does not, however, mean that employees have to be neat freaks in order to be productive. It simply means that an organization needs to learn more effective ways to handle its daily paper flow (Shaver, 2011).
Different types of Records kept at Nigerian police forces
According to Gama (2010) the nature of organization and its activities determines the types of Records it generates and receives from other sources. Music dance and drama being a department in Makerere University, it performs various activities that result in to the accumulation of a vast amount of Records… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The Importance of Records Management in the Organization
According to Sanderson & Ward (2013), the importance of records management is increasingly being recognized in organizations. It is therefore the responsibility of records managers to ensure that they gain the attention of decision-makers in their organizations. Gaining recognition is all about convincing management of the role of records management as enabling unit in an organization.
Improved decision making
Employees require information in order to carry out their official duties and responsibilities efficiently and effectively in a transparent manner. Records represent major sources of information and are almost the only reliable and legally verifiable source of data that can serve as evidence of decisions, actions and transactions in an organization (Wamukoya, 2016).
According to Northwest Territories (2012), the role of records management is to ensure that members of staff involved in different operations have the information they need, when necessary… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The study used a descriptive research design because it provided a framework for interpreting the variables of the study. Descriptive research is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the phenomena to describe what exists with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The technique was appropriate as it involves a careful in-depth study and analysis of the subject matter. The researcher also used the cross sectional survey design approach.
Out of the 15 study population, only 14 was used as the sample size according to Krejcie and Morgan (1970). A simple random sampling technique was used to select the respondents in the organization where the study was conducted because of the proximity of the researcher‘s views of time and funds constraints. The sample frame is tabulated as below:
Table 1: Showing the composition of the sample frame
|Category of Respondents||Population||Sample||
|Principal Records Officer||
Source: Primary Data
Sampling Technique and Sample Size
The researcher used simple random sampling. Simple random sampling refers to a situation where a sample is selected without bias from the accessible population (Hounsome, 2011). It was recommendable because it ensured that each member of the target population has an equal and independent chance of being included in the sample (Amin, 2011)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
ANALYTICAL FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter provides the presentation, interpretation, and analysis of findings. The objectives of the study were to assess the importance of the Record-Keeping, challenges faced with management records as well as identifying the solutions for effective Record-Keeping at the Nigerian police force.
Description of the Respondents
The respondents’ demographic characteristics in terms of gender, level of education, length of service in the organization, and titles held in an organization.
Age Bracket of the Respondents
The respondents were asked to indicate their gender. The results are summarized in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Age Bracket of the Respondents
Source: Primary Data
According to Table 2: majority of respondents that participated in the study were 35.7% (30-39 years), 35.7% (40-49yrs), 20-29 (28.6%)considered respectively. The results consequently imply that majority of the respondents were between 30-39ycars (35.7%) and 40-49 years (35.7%) which was a suitable age bracket to provide basic information about the challenges and factors for Record Keeping at the Nigerian police force in Nigerian.
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CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The Nigerian police force department has been working to streamline records management procedures to avert unnecessary lose, access, misplacements, misuse and inadequate security measure which is challenging to personnel in-charge of records at the Nigerian police force department which may lead to possible violations of privacy and confidentiality of individual records among others… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The researcher recommends the following to the department of Works: The Nigerian police forces department must come up with a departmental records management policy or a records management procedural manual or some sort of standards to manage records so as to ensure uniformity in the management of records within the department… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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