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IMPLICATIONS OF SET-BACKS OF CRIME CONTROL MECHANISMS ON ATTITUDE OF SECURITY PERSONNEL IN AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the most important drivers of today’s world is security. Securityis seen in this perspective because of its influential roles on the existence and development of a country or state. In all countries of the world, security is central to a wide variety of social, economic and political activities.Thegrowing needs for security in different parts of the world has given rise to the adoption of multiple security structures to strengthen the protection of lives and property. Thus, apart from the regular police, so many other security apparatuses have been officially adopted. In Nigeria, the list of crime control apparatuses include the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, and several privately owned security companies.
According to Adebayo (2013) one of the problems bedevilingNigeria is the rising wave of crime. Crime is an act of violating the law and equally a social problem that transcends generations and mankind, and characterized all known contemporary modern societies (Meveigh, 1978). It also an act that brings about offences and it is punishable under the law (Oguntunde, Ojo, Okagbue&Oguntunde, 2018). Many other scholars have given varied definitions of the phenomenon. Adebayo (2013), for instance, has defined crime as the breaking of rules or laws for whichsome governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. Inthesocial and legal framework, crimeinvolves a set of facts or assumptionsthat are part of a case in which there were committed actspunishable under criminal law, and the application of whichdepends on the agent of a sentence or security measurecriminal. Also, according to Adebayo (2013),in criminal law, crime is an act of omission whichattracts sanctions such as fines, imprisonment or even death.
The many types and sophistication of crimes in different parts of the world has also prompted the adoption of several mechanisms of control. Examples of mechanism include operation and raid, stop and search, tip-off, the use of spy,and CCTV Cameras. Similarly, there have been creation of several units of operation which like the general norm of the force, the officers and men are crossed posted and as well deployed to any unit. These and other strategies are meant to strengthen the efficiency of force and boost the capacities of the officers. Despite all these, personality and integrity of the police have still remained questionable. As posited by Karimu (2014) the Nigeria Police Force is known as the major organ that is saddled with the responsibility of crime prevention and control in the country, but the burgeoning crime and the sophistication with which it is executed makes the functions of the Nigeria Police Force very cumbersome and arduous. Since crime has become as complex as human nature and the western panel system which is now preferred to controlling it has not completely offered the solution, this study was aimed atinvestigating the implications of set-backs of crimes control mechanisms on attitude of security personnel in order to create a framework for making recommendations on how to check the rate of crime in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The world is characterized with crises and conflicts, which all constitute crime of different dimensions. Local, national, regional and international news is inundated with happenings that breech public peace, endanger security and lead to loss of life and property. In many parts of the world, several issues such as stealing, robbery, kidnapping, trafficking, bunkering, murder, terrorism, hijacking, clashes, and many others occur on daily basis. At the local and states levels, crimes such as cultism, assassination, rape, burglary, are raining issues. As argued by Ayuk, Owan and Uyang (2013), no societyis completely isolated from the negative consequences of crime although the level and intensity of the problem varies from one society to another. The consequences of these more than ever have been horrible and tasking.
According to Ayuk, Owan and Uyang (2013) for sometimes now, that is, in the past two decades, Nigeria society has been plagued with frightening crimes and often than not the consequences are devastating and appalling. The ideal of a law abiding society where the citizens are free to go about their normal businesses has been fast eroded by the incessant crises fermented by touts and miscreants as well as the ever increasing crime rates that occur on daily. This unsavoury development has generated a lot of concern amongst scholars, religious clerics and non-governmental organization and government (Iheajemuzu, 1997) cited inAyuk, Owan and Uyang (2013).A view of the situation at Police Posts, Stations, Area Commands and the State Police Headquarters will reveal a clearer picture of the volume and types reported in Akwa Ibom State, as it is in other states of the federation.
Sadly, however, the Police whose primary and professional function center on crime prevention and control as well as the protection of life and property hascame under increasingpressure(Maguire, 2016)not only from the public but consequent of the attitude of some officers and men against each other while on duty.It is not unequivocal to state that some of the complaints reported and also handled by the Police are such cases brought against the Police Officers. Worst still, a number of the complaints made against the Police are made by other Police Officers. Across Nigeria, this issue is common, thus, leading to arrest, detention, prosecution and imprisonment of a number of officers and other security personnel. Records show that an increasing number of complaints against some Police Officers by others are connected with leakage of information to suspects which has implications on the personality of the affected officers.
This experience has not only influenced the existence of informal groupings within the rank and file but also the attitude of the officers in the discharge of their professional duty particularly when in group with persons (officers) one has not worked with before. As a consequent, the personality of the Police to the general public is an issue, and unlike other security operatives, the Police is labelled and often attacked. This is quite worrisome and thought provoking, hence, the desire to investigate implications of set-backs of crimes control mechanisms on attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
1.3Objective of the Study
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the implications of set-backs of crimes control mechanisms on attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Also, the study was designed to help achieve the following secondary objectives:
i) To investigate the implications of exposure of identity on the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
ii) To investigate the implications of labeling on the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
iii) To investigate the implications of attack on the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
iv) To suggest ways in which the problem could be checked so as to encourage the security personnel to carry out their duties objectively.
In order to have insight understanding of the study problem, the following questions were raised and also answered in the coursed of the study. The questions include:
i) How does exposure of identity affect the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
ii) How does labeling contribute to poor attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
iii) To what extent does attack affect the poor attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
1.5Statement of Hypothesis
The attempt to achieve the objectives of this study necessitated the formulation of the following hypotheses:
i) Exposure of identity which is a set-back of crime control mechanism does not significantly affect the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
ii) Labeling as a set-back of crime control mechanism does not significantly contribute to the poor attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
iii) Attackwhich is a set-back of crime control mechanism does not significantly affect the attitude of security personnel in Akwa Ibom State
1.6Significance of the Study
This study is intended to expose the hidden and open influences of terrorism on the social development of Nigeria through the basic determinants. While it is obvious that the study findings would provide in-depth knowledge of the activities of the terrorists, it would also guide all levels of institutions in the country, the family, village or community, local government, state and the nation at large in checkmating their excesses of terrorists. The study would assist policy formulation and implementation on the issues that should be addressed in order to provide for the needs and inadequacies of the various interest groups in the country. The government would find the study report as a useful material that could guide decision taking on terrorism, other types of crime and security related issues.
Furthermore, the findings of the study would add to the existing literature on the phenomenon of terrorism. Students in the field of Sociology, Criminology, Public Order, Public Administration and many other related fields could consult the study report to help update their studies or obtain relevance information for their researches. It would guide the Police and other security and intelligent agencies by supplementing their sources of information and knowledge regarding the strategies adopted by the terrorists in their operations. Similarly, the study would serve as a spring-board for further studies on crime and security related issues in the country.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was focused on the Police. It was also concentrated on Akwa Ibom State Command. Only three of the determinants of set-back of crime control mechanisms, namely, exposure of identity, labeling and attack constituted the study variables. The study was guided by the assumptions of the theory of planned behaviour.