Version classiqueVersion mobile

Gated Neighbourhoods and privatisation of urban security in Ibadan Metropolis

 | 
Oluseyi Fabiyi

Chapter 2. Urban neighbourhood characteristics and security issues

Texte intégral

1It has been widely observed that crime is spatially related in the urban area. It is common to describe some parts in the urban area as hot spot for crime or high-risk zones. From this context, it is obvious that some areas possess characteristics that encourage or entrench crime. It is also well known that there are spatial differentials between the criminals’ location and the location of crime. Jefferry (1977) discovered that property crimes are committed within few miles of a criminal’s location. However, with increased use of automobile assistance in crime, there is marked reduction in spatial separation between the crime place and criminals’ location. Neighbourhood characteristics play a major influence on crime, either by providing avenue for developing criminal network or possessing certain attributes that invite crimes into the neighbourhoods.

2The concept of neighbourhood influence on the level of crime has attracted considerable research attention in recent times. It is a usual phenomenon to alert new comers about parts of a city that are safe at night and those that are not safe. This points to the fact that there are some characteristics of a neighbourhood that may render such a neighbourhood safe or unsafe. There are a number of neighbourhood characteristics that aid or encourage crime. Such characteristics can be social or physical. Wilson (1987) argues that uniquely high levels of community poverty and disadvantage are what produce high levels of crime and other social problems in Africa-American neighbourhoods. In contrast, he proceeded that predominantly white communities are much less likely to have very high levels of poverty and disadvantage and hence the resulting social dislocations. If this logic is correct, then crime rates should vary with community conditions irrespective of neighbourhood racial composition. It is reasonable therefore to conclude that the sources of crime are remarkably invariant across race and rooted instead in the structural differences among communities.

3From this context, the differences in neighbourhood characteristics can explain the differences in levels of crime among neighbourhoods. Wilson further agues that the growth of neighbourhoods with extreme levels of poverty has created conditions that isolate residents from the main stream society and tie them to a local setting of multiple disadvantages. Scholars have explored the association between concentrated poverty and various types of deviance such as drug use, teenage child bearing and violent crime (Anderson 1990 ; Crane 1991 ; Harrell & Peterson 1992 ; Jencks 1991). These notions and studies support the fact that poverty and social disadvantage are associated with negative community outcomes. The standpoint of researches in this area suggest that poor neighbourhoods will generally record high crime rate.

4Though poverty may not be regarded as a single index that encourages or entrenches crime, it is clear that extreme neighbourhood poverty and disadvantage provide conditions that encourage criminal behaviour and discourage or erode mechanisms of social control. When extreme poverty neighbourhood is located beside extremely high-class neighbourhood, it breeds criminal activities, which is borne out of frustration and helplessness. Just as Anderson (1990) pointed out that in the poor neighbourhood, residents are socialised to engage in criminal activities through modelling the actions of others (Wacquant 1993). They (residents) more commonly witness criminal acts and have role models that do not restrain their own criminal impulses.

Informal control and privatisation of security apparatus

5Crime prevalence and incivility have often been explained as a result of a loss of primary affiliations and modes of controls that could be achieved through close personal contact(Park e.al 1967 ; Savage and Woods 1993). Wirth (1938) had earlier pointed out that crime can be explained with reference to increased population density and social heterogeneity which are often the case with the increasing urbanisation and urbanity.

6The integration of informal mechanism and non- conventional strategies to combat neighbourhood crime is borne out of the informal grouping and organisation linked to the concept of

7social capital, defined as features of social organisations (Putmam.2001). The rapid emergence of landlord association in the early eighties is brought about by the need to jointly deal with security problems through several informal strategies.

8These informal social controls consists of two primary mechanisms : the existence of collective norms and values within a ‘community’ and the ability of the community to regulate its members and to realise collective goals such as controlling group processes and visible sign of social disorder(Atkinson and Flint 2003). This collective effort at regulating group activities and processes is termed ‘collective efficacy Samson and Flint (2003). The collective efficacy can be hindered or jeopardised by neighbourhood characteristics (Sampson (1998). The poor areas are more likely to have low collective efficacy compared with rich areas.

9Despite increasing heterogeneity and multicultural characteristics of urban systems in Nigeria, the concern for security brought a sudden increase in collective efficacy. The emergence of residents’ associations and landlord associations among others became popular in the 1980s. Most Nigeria city systems are developed through a mixture of operation of price mechanism and governmental policy. The morphology of most urban settlements are not patterned for class segregation. The consequence of the informal arrangement of building structures in Nigerian urban centres is the poor intermix of the poor and the rich class in neighbourhoods. It is of research interest to investigate the mode and procedures adopted by neighbourhoods in Nigeria that is characterised by different social classes to enforce social order and tackle issues of security in the neighbourhood. The association of the people of different economic status in collectively deciding on crime prevention is a major research interest of this study.

Crime, insecurity and privatisation

10Crime is an injurious act that violates the prevailing legal codes of the jurisdiction in which it occurs(Muncie, 1996). In other words a crime is not a crime until it is defined by criminal law. Criminal laws identify and prohibit harmful conduct, define behaviours that are criminal, label those convicted of committing proscribed acts as criminals and prescribe punishment or correctional’ sanctions for those detected, apprehended, prosecuted and convicted for commission of crimes. Alemika (1993). From this context, crime in any society refers to all deleterious human conduct which, if allowed free rein could threaten public order, lead to breakdown of public security and to a gradual descent into complete chaos (Albert 2003). Crime is defined in the context of a society as when a society, whether a nation or a neighbourhood perceives some behaviour as criminal whether by written criminal law or by conventional aspiration of collective efficacy in the society (micro or macro) ; such society will make effort to prevent or punish such crime.

Crime Landscape in Nigeria Urban Centres

11Generally it has been reported that crime rate was on the increase m Nigeria as early as eighties (Times International London Nov.4. 1985). Lives were no longer safe, the nation was crippled by insecurity problems posed by criminals. Though urban systems and large cities are not new in Nigeria, the crime wave is what is relatively young. While large towns and cities have existed in Nigeria for more than one and half centuries, the experience of insecurity especially posed by armed robbers is relatively recent. The nature of crime and the incidence of violence in Nigeria are becoming more frequent, more gruesome and heinous. There is daily news of bolder and more sophisticated crimes (Agbola 1997, Onibokun 2003).

12The sudden rise in urban insecurity has been linked to increased poverty that has become entrenched in most urban centres of many African countries. Population in poverty has been increasing steadily in Nigeria, for example, in 1985 only 27.2 % of Nigerians were classified as poor, in 1990 it was estimated as 56 %, while in 2000 it was estimated to be about 66 %(Federal Office of Statistics, Nigeria 1999 ; World Bank 1999 ; 2000). Both poverty and insecurity operate in a symbiotic way to make life in most Nigerian urban centres very unfriendly and relatively unpleasant.

13Another major cause of the increased wave of crime in Nigeria is the 1966/1970 civil war. The civil war taught Nigerians how to kill themselves without impunity ; to have little regard for human life ; and to derive joy in shedding blood. Shortly after the civil war in 1970, there was the discovery of petroleum in Nigeria. This discovery brought the popular ‘oil boom era’. The resultant effects of the mismanagement of oil proceeds created a few millionaires but the majority remained deprived and in abject poverty. The juxtaposition of great affluence in the midst of extreme poverty is a major bane of urban insecurity and urban violence in Nigeria. The pool of urban poor who are largely unemployed provide willing hands and minds for crime. The frustrations and sense of hopelessness for most urban youth are manifested in violent crimes and acts of hooliganism. The issue of cultism that is prevalent in most Nigerian universities also serves as a breeding ground for sophisticated crimes.

14The conventional security apparatus in Nigeria grossly fails to tame insecurity problems in Nigeria primarily due to inadequate facilities to effectively fight crimes and due to the poverty level that has brought extensive corruption within the security systems(Agbola 1997, Onibokun 2003).

15The Judicial systems are not helpful in the control of crime either, because cases take long time before they are decided, consequently detained suspects are usually further groomed into full blown criminals before their cases are decided. The prison systems therefore often serve as ground for the network of bigger and more sophisticated crimes. The legal systems also do not prescribe corresponding punitive measures for crimes. The long military era also militarised the society where children pick role models of gangsterism. The incoming of democratic dispensation howevershows a ray of hope. The general pattern of crime in Nigeria is shown in the Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 : The national trend of crime from 1990-1995

Table 2.1 : The national trend of crime from 1990-1995

Table 2.1 continues...

Table 2.1 continues...

Source : Federal Office of Statistics, Lagos (1996)

16The Table shows that property related crimes are the most common forms of urban violence in Nigeria. This indicates that most crimes in Nigeria are principally poverty-induced-While the figures of some crimes remain relatively stable and some show evidence of reduction, the figures for property related crimes remained fairly high throughout the period under consideration.

Crime rate by state

17The crime rate has regional variations in Nigeria. Figure2.1 shows that crime rate is not uniform across states in Nigeria. Lagos, Anambra and Delta states record higher a crime rate above the national average.

18The peak crime rate is recorded in Lagos state. Lagos has the highest urban population in Nigeria justifying the high crime records. Crime in Nigeria has been categorised to be poverty induced because a large portion of urban dwellers in Nigeria live below the poverty level, and it explains the correlation between the urban population size and the crime rate, 0.72. Correlation analysis of crime and population figure per state however shows a weak relationship of 0.34 at 95 % confidence level. The total population of states obscure some subtle differences in urban population.

19Figure 2.1 also shows that there was a general annual increase in crime from 1996 to the year 2000. Even though Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999 yet the crime rate remained high. Though Nigerian crime rate has been linked to prolonged militarisation of the Nigeria systems (Onibokun 2003), the crime rate remains high despite the installation of democratically elected government in Nigeria. Poverty appears as a dominant factor that influenced crime rate in Nigeria.

Crime Landscape in Ibadan metropolis

20Ibadan metropolis which is one of the major urban centres in Nigeria is not exempted from the increase in the wave of crime. Crime records were collected from some selected police stations in Ibadan metropolis as shown in Tables 2.2-2.5. These crime records in some selected police stations within Ibadan metropolis reveal a similar pattern with that of the national records a shown in the following Tables.

Table 2.2 : Reported crimes in Sango police station between 2001 and 2003

Table 2.2 : Reported crimes in Sango police station between 2001 and 2003

Table 2.2 continues

Table 2.2 continues

Table 2.3 : Reported crimes in Mokola police station between 2000 and 2003

Table 2.3 : Reported crimes in Mokola police station between 2000 and 2003

Table 2.3 continues

Table 2.3 continues

Table 2.4 : Reported crimes in Idi-ape police station between 2000-2003

Table 2.4 : Reported crimes in Idi-ape police station between 2000-2003

Table 2.4 continues

Table 2.4 continues

Source : Police records, Ibadan

Table 2.5 : Reported crimes in Yemetu police station between 2000 and 2003

Table 2.5 : Reported crimes in Yemetu police station between 2000 and 2003

Table 2.5 continues

Table 2.5 continues

21The tables (2.2-2.5) above show that all the police stations record high number of property related crimes such as theft and stealing, burglary, house breaking, unlawful possession and store breaking. The prevailing economic situations in Nigeria encourage crime especially for the jobless and those that are hopelessly moving down the economic ladder. The annual mean crime conditions in some selected police stations in Ibadan metropolis were compared as shown in Table2. 6.

Table 2. 6 : Mean crime rate per annum by police station

Table 2. 6 : Mean crime rate per annum by police station

Source : Nigerian Police, Ibadan.

22Table 2.6 above shows that the highest annual mean crime is recorded at Mokola police station. This can be linked with the commercial activities that are dominant around this police station while majority of the residential housing falls within a poor residential categories. Yemetu followed with a mean annual crime of 541,Yemetu is principally poor residential area. Yemetu is also close to a local market. Idiape police station falls within areas occupied by low income and middle income earners. It has a mean annual crime rate of 417. Sango has very low reported crime average, this may be connected with the fact that the police station at Sango falls within the institutional zones such as University of Ibadan and Ibadan polytechnic. These institutions have internal security networks and units where crimes are reported. Only major cases are referred to the police stations outside. Critical evaluation of the Table suggests that the poor areas and commercial activities record higher occurrence of crime than the rich areas. The crime trends in the selected neighbourhoods also reveal the same pattern as shown in Figure 2.2

23Though there are some missing records in the available police reports, the trend in crime still reveals some patterns of crime rate by urban quality differentials in Ibadan metropolis as shown in Figure 2.2. The crime rate is highest in Yemetu and the trend increases as from year 2001, others follow suit in the increasing trend in crime levels. Sango area is the only zone where the crime level plummeted during the intervals of consideration. This could be attributed to the reasons earlier discussed.

Fig 2.1 : Reported crime pattern by state in Nigeria Source : National Data bank.

Crime prevention and control

24Ibadan metropolis is one of the major urban settlements in Nigeria adequately served by a number of police presence such as Police head quarters, stations and posts. The distribution of the major police stations in the study area is presented in figure 2.3.

25Figure2.3 above shows that there is a relative even distribution of police stations in Ibadan metropolis. There are also a number of police posts, check points and police training grounds which also help in providing adequate police protection for Ibadan metropolis residents. Though the number of policemen available in Ibadan metropolis was not available, the police facilities in terms of stations, posts and check points are relatively even and adequate. The efficiency and the logistics available to respond promptly and adequately could not be measured, however the response of neighbourhood associations indicate that the performance of the police fall below the expectation of the people.

26The patterns shown in Tables (2.2 -2.5) are common to most urbancentres in Nigeria and have generally made most urban centres in Nigeria relatively unsafe. While crime is more rampant in the poor neighbourhood areas, violent crimes like murder, assassination and armed robbery are often associated with the rich areas.

27In order to tame these criminal activities, the residents have evolved new strategies to prevent crimes in form of house design with gates and tall wall fences as well as erection of steel gates on access roads to neighbourhoods. These measures are rampant in most Nigerian cities. Communities and neighbourhood regroup into manageable fragments to ensure the security of lives and property in their respective neighbourhoods. They further contribute to manage the erection and maintenance of such gates on access roads.

28The recent experience in most Nigerian cities, especially as it relates to anonymity and individualism reveals a shift from the runs of ideas as there is a lot of homogeneous cohesion within neighbourhoods as opposed to the global anonymised society. There is gradual disappearance of the image of anonymised city which entrenches fear of a threat to social cohesion and social control. Higher rates of crimes and incivility have often been explained as being the results of loss of primary affiliation and thus of those modes of control that could be achieved through close personal contact. Park et al (1967 ; Savage and Warde, 1993). Most neighbourhood associations in Nigerian cities are developed with a view to reactivating primary affiliation in given neighbourhood boundaries. The renewal of primary affiliation provides opportunities for increased social control in the neighbourhood. The remaining section of this book discusses the activities of neighbourhood associations as they relate to security measures put in place in Ibadan metropolis.

Fig. 2.3 : Spatial distribution of major police stations in Ibadan metropolis

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 2.1 : The national trend of crime from 1990-1995
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 312k
Titre Table 2.1 continues...
Légende Source : Federal Office of Statistics, Lagos (1996)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Titre Table 2.2 : Reported crimes in Sango police station between 2001 and 2003
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 184k
Titre Table 2.2 continues
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Table 2.3 : Reported crimes in Mokola police station between 2000 and 2003
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 144k
Titre Table 2.3 continues
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 276k
Titre Table 2.4 : Reported crimes in Idi-ape police station between 2000-2003
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Table 2.4 continues
Légende Source : Police records, Ibadan
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 140k
Titre Table 2.5 : Reported crimes in Yemetu police station between 2000 and 2003
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 136k
Titre Table 2.5 continues
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Table 2. 6 : Mean crime rate per annum by police station
Légende Source : Nigerian Police, Ibadan.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Légende Fig 2.1 : Reported crime pattern by state in Nigeria Source : National Data bank.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 332k
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 136k
Légende Fig. 2.3 : Spatial distribution of major police stations in Ibadan metropolis
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/474/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 170k

© IFRA-Nigeria, 2004

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Cette publication numérique est issue d’un traitement automatique par reconnaissance optique de caractères.

Acheter

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search