CRIME AND DISORDER PREVENTION REFLECTION ON POLICE strategies AND TACTICS (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE COMMAND)ABSTRACT
This study examined “Crime and disorder prevention reflection on police strategies and tactics (a case study of Lagos state command)”. This research-work wasdesigned to give an in–depth knowledge and analysis on the strategies adopted by and challenges confronting the Nigeria Police Force in their bid to control crime and criminalities. The methodology employed in this study was survey method and its involves both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Primary data were collected from four hundred (400) Officers and Men of the Force, Lagos State Command, Plateau state, whom were selected at a random, with the aid of questionnaire and in – depth interview. Tables, graphics and simple percentage comparison were used to analyse the data and the following deductions and inferences were subsequently made. That, the Nigeria Police Force is confronted with a lot of challenges, ranging from: corruption and political influence, lack/shortage of manpower, poor welfare services and lack of modern/sophisticated crime control facilities/equipment. The paper therefore recommends among others; that the police should be free and independent from any ministry/political office; the police should have an annual recruitment process that will provide available qualitative and quantitative personnel; there is equally need for the provision of proper and qualitative welfare services to the force, and; the provision of needed facilities/equipment like modern weapons and taking due advantage of existing crime control gadgets to constantly checkmate criminalities.
INTRODUCTION1.1 Background to the Study
Crime is a very serious problem in the Nigerian society. In fact, it has affected all facet of social life to the extent that there is hardly a day that passes without reports of crime occurrences across the country. As observed by Dambazau (2007), the country has been on the world crime map since 1980s, and the types of crimes that are very common in country ranges from homicide, armed robbery, rape, housebreak, car theft, fraud, drug abuse, bribery and corruption, gambling, kidnapping, smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cyber crime, money laundering, advanced fee fraud (419) and more recently oil bunkering, and genocide activities by criminal herdsmen and boko haram terrorists.
Consequently, crime has constituted a threat to the economic, political and social security of Nigeria. It discourages both local and foreign investments, decreases the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, and more so, it undermines the rule of law, democracy, and ability of the country to uphold development (Adebayo, 2013).
To tackle this menace, the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is empowered by the Nigerian government to check the scourge. Out of the three agencies of the CJS; police, courts, and the prisons, the police are at the forefront to control crime (Ofolokunbi, 1986). According to Section 214 (1) of the Nigerian constitution, the government of Nigeria only recognizes a single police force (Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and empowers it with the statutory responsibility of
“detection and prevention of crime, apprehending and prosecution of criminals, protection of lives and property of citizens, enforcement and maintenance of laws and order”. It was later in
1966 that the function of ensuring “free flow of traffic especially in cities was added (Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999).
However, as the Nigerian society progresses, especially with the advent of the present democratic system of government, new forms of violent crimes have also emerged and the society has become more insecure with many people getting involved in diverse sophisticated criminal activities (Bayley and Shearing, 2001). This poses as a serious challenge to the Nigeria Police Force in their attempt to control crime in the country. Daily, cases of crime are reported in the media, and in most instances, the police appear helpless to control the situation. In some instances, crimes do occur, and the presence of the police is not felt at all. This indicates that there are challenges confronting the police in their crime control initiative; thereby making them not to perform optimally in their constitutional task.
Based on the foregoing, this study seeks to examine crime and disorder prevention reflection on police strategies and tactics (a case study of Lagos state command)
The persistent security problems and the inability of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to control crime are worrisome. Among all the security agencies in the country, the NPF is mandated by the constitution to be at the forefront of supplying internal security and control crime. Sadly, in carrying out this mandate, the NPF appears incapable of controlling the enormous crime problems the country is facing presently. Daily, incidences of crime are occurring unabated. Instead of witnessing effective and efficient policing from the NPF, citizens and foreigners residing and doing business in the country are seeing a weak police force incapable of addressing existing and emerging crime problems in the country.
In Lagos state, the situation is not an exemption as crime has become a recurring decimal without effective and efficient response from the NPF to control the situation. Almost on a daily basis, the local government faces crime situations such as; theft, assassination, kidnapping, rape, burglary, and the likes. Yet in all these, there is no adequate policing from the NPF to stem the tide of crime. Annually, government at all levels provide huge budgets for security and through such financial provisions, claims are made that the NPF has been equipped to tackle crime problems. Furthermore, to buttress their claim, the media in some occasions showcase crime fighting equipment purchased and supplied by the government to the NPF to boost their crime control initiative. However, instead of witnessing a reduction in crime rate, the menace is still escalating at a frequency that is very alarming. It is on this note that this study emerged to examine the crime and disorder prevention reflection on police strategies and tactics (a case study of Lagos state command)
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions guided this study
What are the strategies adopted by the NPF in crime control in Lagos?What are the main challenges used the NPF in their bid to control crime in Lagos?What are the possible solutions to address the challenges NPF are facing in their bid to control crime in Lagos?1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study was to examine the crime and disorder prevention reflection on police strategies and tactics (a case study of Lagos state command). This objective was achieved in collaboration with the following specific objectives:
to examine the strategies adopted by the NPF in crime control in Lagos;to examine the main challenges of the NPF in crime control in Lagos;to proffer solutions that will serve as possible recommendations for the ameliorationof challenges confronting the NPF in crime control in Nigeria in general.1.5 Research HypothesesThere is no significant relationship between the capacity of the NPF and effective crime control in Lagos state.1.6 Significance of the Study
This study on crime and disorder prevention reflection on police strategies and tactics (a case study of Lagos state command) will be relevant to the police in the development of crime prevention and control strategies. Similarly, the work will equally be important to other law enforcement agencies, as they may use it for designing plans and methods to be used in tackling crime and criminal problems. Furthermore, its findings will be useful to government and other relevant agencies in improving their provisions of operational facilities to the police and other security agencies to aid crime control.
Also, the work will also serve as relevant material for further research on activities of NPF in crime control in Lagos State and Nigeria in general. It will also add to the existing literature on crime control in the world.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The scope of this study was limited to Lagos State. In order to examine the police strategies and tactics in crime control, Lagos State Police Command alone was considered. The reason was that, the stipulated time given for the study did not allow the researcher to cover other Police Commands in other states of the federation.
Apart from this, the researcher had no sufficient funds to go beyond the study area.
1.8 Definition of Key ConceptsNigeria Police Force: Is an agency of government that is responsible for the maintenance of public order and crime prevention. In this study, the NPF shall represent security institution responsible for crime control in Lagos State North L.G.A of Plateau State.Challenges: According to Merriam – Webster Online Dictionary (2017), challenges simply means “a feeling or declaration of disapproval or dissent. For the purpose of this study, it shall be used to represent factors militating against the responsibility of the NPF in crime control.Crime: According to Marshall and Daniel (1973) “crime in some societies consists of any conduct which causes distortion of order and a decline of public security. Crime simply connotes a steady descent into social chaos”. For the purpose of this study, it shall represent any act that is contrary to law in Lagos State.Crime Control: Crime control can be defined as the measures or mechanisms taken by any society or state to ensure members conform to its laws. In this study, it refers to the fundamental function of the NPF to check illegal acts in Lagos State North L.G.A.
CRIME AND DISORDER PREVENTION REFLECTION ON POLICE STRATEGIES AND TACTICS (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE COMMAND)
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