Crime control in contemporary Nigeria
Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented increase in insecurity; the crime rate is spiraling alarmingly. Security which is a vital tool for national cohesion, peace and sustainable development, have not been effective over the years.
Provision of adequate security is a social pre-requisite for the survival of any society. Businesses and social activities may not go on freely without adequate security. The recent surge in cyber-crime, drug and human trafficking, police extortion, Boko Haram activities and the recent series of murder in Port Harcourt is worrisome. These activities have serious implications on our national development.
It is evident that there has been little progress by the government in getting rid of criminals, as people in these leadership positions are also guilty. The capacity of the police and other security agencies in Nigeria to effectively prevent and control crime in has often been called to question.
But how do we combat crime in Nigeria? Ronald Maclean Abaroa, the first democratically-elected mayor of La Paz Bolivia, with the help of consultants, outlined a few solutions to tackle the widespread corruption in the Police Force. He proposed an extensive training period for recruits, an improvement in the incentive structure for security officers, special training to tackle specific needs and an outright dismissal of incompetent staff would help improve the situation in La Paz.
It is generally believed that any effort made towards poverty alleviation will automatically translate to effort made towards crime prevention and control in the society. In Nigeria, the government needs to increase its funding for the police so that modern and adequate equipment to combat crime could be acquired. However, such funds are to be properly monitored to avoid diversion into private pockets.
On the show, Dr Abubakar Yusuf Mamud, our guest, mentioned that crime control need not be as complicated as the government portrays it. The first step to combating crime in Nigeria would be identifying the root cause of the problem itself. He also noted that governance is the bane of Nigeria’s problems and if left unchecked, will corrupt the future generation. The government, he believes, is always reactive rather than proactive and only functions after things have happened.
To combat crime, he proffers that we improve our crime control policies. A unified system should be created for the police to capture, report and document crime in real time.
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