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The Architecture of Fear

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Tunde Agbola

4. Coping mechanisms

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Introduction

1As presented in chapter one and from observations of available statistics and daily media reports, there is copious evidence that the incidence of urban violence is high in Lagos. A critical analysis of the information collected from this study confirms that reports of violence in Lagos are real. This chapter presents an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of urban violence in Lagos and documentation of the reaction of Lagos residents to it.

Characteristics of Urban Violence in Lagos

2An initial observation of the gross spread of all urban violence in Lagos shows that virtually no part of the city is spared. For example, about 17.5 per cent of households in Lagos experience frequent occurrences of urban violence (table 4.1). This implies that about two households in every ten, face the unpleasant ordeal of urban violence in one form or the other and this engenders a heightened fear of attack.

Table 4.1 Frequency of occurrence of urban violence

Table 4.1 Frequency of occurrence of urban violence

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

3In addition, although about 82 per cent of households experienced urban violence only sparingly in their area, this proportion is still exposed to one form of violence or the other. To corroborate this, a quarter (24.7%) of all households have fallen a victim-to at least one residential burglary (table 4.2). A disaggregation of these figures into residential density areas shows that the incidence is highest in the high density residential areas where almost 26 per cent of households have had their houses broken into by thieves.

Table 4.2 Thieves ever broken into house

Table 4.2 Thieves ever broken into house

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.3 Distribution of residential burglary by house types

Table 4.3 Distribution of residential burglary by house types

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages. Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.4 Type and distribution of illegal activities in Lagos

Table 4.4 Type and distribution of illegal activities in Lagos

Notes: 1 Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
2 * Figures in parentheses are column percentages of the last 3 rows of table.
3 ** are column percentages of the types of violence.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

4A further disaggregation into house types indicates that duplexes and flats have higher figures (30% and 28%) (Table 4.3). These house types are occupied by medium to high income families. Tenement (single room) apartments have the least proportion with 21 per cent.

5In residential units, neighbourhoods, and streets in some other parts of Lagos, many individuals have also fallen victim to one type of urban violence or another. From table 4.4, the highest incidence of urban violence is armed robbery, accounting for as high as 47.37 per cent of urban attacks. This is closely followed by burglary with 32.02 per cent. However, on the average, the proportion of residents that have fallen victim to urban violence is highest in the high density residential areas (22.11%) and decreases through the medium density (19.49%) to the low density residential areas (16.99%).

6Urban violence manifests in a number of ways. The most common occurs in the home, accounting for 46.49 per cent (table 4.5). A large proportion of the victims (40.35%) were merely stopped on the way and attacked. Defrauding and car breaking account for only a small proportion of attacks. Urban violence has social and economic costs. Although only 16 households (7.02%) suffered loss of life during a violent attack on their household, as many as 214 households (93.86%) suffered loss of property (table 4.6).

Table 4.5 Methods of attack

Table 4.5 Methods of attack

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.6 Loss of life and property

Table 4.6 Loss of life and property

Note: Figures in parentheses are column percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

7The loss of life is highest in low density residential areas, while the loss of property is highest in medium density areas. The value of property losses varied from less than N10°000 to over N60°000 (table 4.7). A crude estimate of the total value of the property lost (using the mid-value of each class interval) is about N6,240°000 for 214 households, giving an average loss of about N29°159. This loss is high in an economy depressed by the structural adjustment programme (SAP).

Table 4.7 Value of property lost to crime

Table 4.7 Value of property lost to crime

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Characteristics of Victims of Residential Burglary

8A statistical validation of the consistency of the claims of households which have experienced residential burglary is made here. This will show a clear picture of the characteristics of households that have had this experience. A stepwise discriminant analysis was also used to achieve this. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to identify factors statistically significant in explaining residential burglary. The discriminant function used in this analysis has a Wilks’ Lambda value of 0.2496 (table 4.8). The chi-square value of 163.13 is higher than the critical tabled chi-square value of 27.88 at 0.001 level of significance.

9Nine out of 25 variables were entered as significant predictors of the difference between households that experienced residential burglary and those that did not (table 4.9). The analysis correctly classified 95.5 per cent of the cases into their correct groups (table 4.10). This is a very high classification result and implies that those households that claimed they had experienced residential burglary could be statistically justified as largely making correct claims.

10Table 4.9 shows the classification function coefficients which indicate the level of association of each variable with the group of households. Households that had fallen victim to residential burglary had higher levels of association with all variables except that of a feeling of security/insecurity. They had more loss of property and thieves had broken into their houses both before and after the installation of security measures. They had also fallen victim to other forms of urban violence and had made more calls to the police. They had a higher aggregate level of neighbourhood security measures, although they also experienced more loss of lives. They generally felt less secure in their neighbourhoods, because of a higher exposure to urban violence.

Table 4.8 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of incidence of residential burglary

Table 4.8 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of incidence of residential burglary

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.9 Classification function coefficients for residential burglary in Lagos

Table 4.9 Classification function coefficients for residential burglary in Lagos

Note: * - Higher function coefficients.
** - Households that have experienced residential burglary.
*** - Households that have not experienced residential burglary.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.10 Classification results of discriminant analysis of incidence of residential burglary

Table 4.10 Classification results of discriminant analysis of incidence of residential burglary

Note: * Households that have experienced residential burglary.

** Households that have no: experienced residential burglary.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

11These findings lend credence to the fact that the incidence of urban violence in Lagos is real and statistically valid. The characteristics are daunting and present a disturbing uncomfortable picture for urban residents in Lagos. Apart from losing life and property, residents are attacked irrespective of the security measures put in place; in addition to facing a wide range of other violent attacks in different parts of the city away from their homes. The stepwise multiple regression analysis was further used to explain the incidence of residential burglary. The analysis entered 6 of 25 variables as significant in this explanation (table 4.11). These variables include the loss of property and life; the incidence of burglary both before and after the installation of security devices; contact with the police through calls for assistance during crimes and falling victim to other forms of urban violence.

Table 4.11 Characteristics of residential burglary in Lagos

Table 4.11 Characteristics of residential burglary in Lagos

Notes: Figures in parentheses are the calculated absolute t -values of the regression coefficients.
* t - value significant at 0.001.
** t - value significant at 0.01.
*** t - value significant at 0.05.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996

12These variables are also identified in the discriminant analysis discussed above and are typically characteristic of those households that have fallen victim to residential burglary. The 6 variables, using the coefficient of determination (R2 x 100%) jointly explained about 75 per cent of the factors characteristic of victims of residential burglary.

Crime Coping Mechanisms of Individual Households

13Moving from the descriptive and analytical presentation of the characteristics of urban violence, in different parts of Lagos, we took a closer look at how residents of Lagos have been reacting to the increasing spate of urban violence through various means, including building design and household and neighbourhood security measures. Many of the residential buildings surveyed in this study were not recently constructed; only 5.91 per cent were built in the last ten years, while 20.94 per cent were built about 20 years ago, during the oil boom era (table 4.12). More than half of all the buildings were built within the last 40 years. Date of completion could not be ascertained for a considerable proportion of the buildings (40.71%).

Table 4.12 Age of building

Table 4.12 Age of building

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

14The factors that initially informed the location of these buildings when they were built might enable us to know whether security considerations were taken into account when the choice of location was made. As revealed in table 4.13, many residential buildings were built in areas where land was available for the prospective landlord to buy and build (22.7%). Some of the landlords, however, had a choice. Some locational choices were made because the landlords liked the area (14.3%).

15Only a small fraction of households appeared to have chosen their location because of security considerations; 13.4 per cent chose certain locations because of their peaceful and secure nature. However, 10.2 per cent inherited the land and therefore, had little or no choice. A considerable proportion of the respondents either did not adduce reasons for why the choice was made or had no idea of the reason for the choice because they were tenants (26.0%) (table 4.13).

Table 4.13 Reasons for choice of residential location

Table 4.13 Reasons for choice of residential location

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

16The general appearance of most residential buildings in the low to medium density areas in Lagos is like that of fortresses/ strongholds. A cursory look at table 4.14 shows that in the areas around the houses, strong assertions of territoriality were made through the building of fences of various types. These fences ranged from simple demarcation with hedges, or fences of bamboo/wood to solid concrete walls, displaying the varying degree of security consciousness of house owners.

Table 4.14 Materials used for fences

Table 4.14 Materials used for fences

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages;
* =column percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

17Houses with concrete fences were the most common, accounting for 63.3 per cent of all residences. The height and range of materials used, and the security provided by the fences varied. A few of the fences were low concrete walls less than 1.5 meters high with steel barriers mounted on them. Others in this range were a combination of concrete walls and perforated blocks. However, many others were full concrete walls with the modal class height of between 2.5-3.0 metres (51.47%) (table 4.15). A large proportion of the fences were clearly more than 3.0 metres high.

Table 4.15 Height of concrete fences

Table 4.15 Height of concrete fences

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

18These high fences dwarfed bungalows and on these fences were mounted materials to serve as deterrents to undesirable elements that might want to scale the walls. Materials on walls varied from broken bottles (41.6%) to barbed wire (11.87%) or spiral barbed wire (5.87%), with the barbed wire being sometimes electrified (table 4.16).

19What could be considered the second phase of the security preparedness of households became apparent as one entered the compounds or yards of the houses. Ranging from crude materials such as planks to very solid structures such as concrete mullions, 87.50 per cent of all residential buildings were provided with burglary proofing (table 4.17). The most common burglary proof materials were solid iron or steel (87.64%).

Table 4.16 Types of material on top of concrete fences

Table 4.16 Types of material on top of concrete fences

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.17 Materials used for burglary proofing

Table 4.17 Materials used for burglary proofing

Note: Figures in parentheses are the column percentages of the last 3 rows.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

20Burglary proofing was almost equally installed on windows and doors (47.97 and 47.40%) in the surveyed houses. Forty houses had installed burglary proofing (3.86%) on every opening; 8 houses had even used metal to construct all their doors (table 4.18).

21In general, several other security devices were installed or used in the residences to reduce the incidence of crime. Table 4.19 shows the types of security measures and the proportions of households that used them. Many households appeared to attach importance to lighting to illuminate the surroundings and expose intruders approaching the residence at night.

Table 4.18 Location of installed burglary proofing in houses

Table 4.18 Location of installed burglary proofing in houses

Source: Fieldwork. 1996.

Table 4.19 Types of security measures in houses

Table 4.19 Types of security measures in houses

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork. 1996.

22Most households used electric bulbs to illuminate their surroundings, accounting for about 72 per cent of the methods of lighting (table 4.20). This was followed in descending order by fluorescent tubes (22.88%), floodlights (3.8%) and search- lights (1.30%).

Table 4.20 Types of lighting systems

Table 4.20 Types of lighting systems

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

23Burglary proofing (87.5%) and fencing (63.34%) ranked next to lighting as shown in table 4.19. Another important security method was the use of security guards (29.6%) which was common in medium and low density residential areas. This is a particularly important security measure as human security guards sometimes combine human wisdom/judgement and skill with sophisticated security equipment such as walkie-talkies and firearms. The use of guard dogs/security dogs was also common as one in every ten households had guard dogs in their houses. Fairly sophisticated types of security measures, such as alarm systems (4.1%) and the use of closed-circuit television to watch the surroundings (1.4%), were not very common among households, and were limited to low density, high income residential areas. A few households relied on African traditional methods, which involve the use of charms (2.8%) (Table 4.19).

24Some residential buildings were not initially developed or built with the security facilities found in them. They were remodelled in response to the increasing menace of different types of urban violence; especially violence against property. They were thus installed as an afterthought to remedy shortfalls in the capacity to deter the intrusion of undesirable elements. Table 4.21 for example, shows remodelled residential buildings. A large proportion of the remodelled buildings are in the high density (23.3%) residential areas.

Table 4.21 Remodelling of residential buildings

Table 4.21 Remodelling of residential buildings

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

25A total of 267 residences (22.6%) have undergone one type or another of structural remodelling (table 4.22). The most significant remodelling involved the installation of burglary proofing on doors of houses (50.19%). Other types of remodelling included the rebuilding of broken fences (30.34%) which might have been broken by robbers, strengthening gates (10.49%), erecting fences (7.86%) and placing broken bottles on the top of fences (1.12%).

26Table 4.23 shows the cost of the security materials installed in residences. Caution should, however, be exercised in the interpretation of these figures since many of the costs quoted were those at the year of installation and are not likely to accurately reflect present values. For example, over 90 per cent of ail households spent less than N 10°000 each to install security devices in their houses.

Table 4.22 Type of home remodelling

Table 4.22 Type of home remodelling

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages. Asterisked figures are column percentages.

Source: Fieldwork. 1996.

27The distribution of the costs of installation of security devices in residential areas shows that a greater proportion of households in the low density residential areas spent more than N 10,000 on security devices. For example, about 1.2 per cent of the low density high income nouseholds spent more than N60,000 on security measures as against 0.89 per cent for medium density areas and 0.64 per cent for the high density areas. An estimated total amount of N8.2 million (using the mid-values of the class intervais) was spent on putting security devices in place among the sampled population of Lagos residents.

Table 4.23 Cost of installation of security devices

Table 4.23 Cost of installation of security devices

Note: Figures in parentheses are column percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

28Can it be claimed that the security devices actually had any significant deterrent effect on crime, especially crime against property? An attempt is made to answer this question using the residents’ responses about the incidence of burglary before and after the installation of security devices (table 4.24). Analysis of responses of the people showed that some 9.12 per cent of households had a burglary before they installed their security devices, while 15.63 per cent had their homes broken into after installing security devices.

Table 4.24 Incidence of burglary before and after installation of security devices

Table 4.24 Incidence of burglary before and after installation of security devices

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

29While not much explanation could be adduced for the higher incidence of burglary after the installation of security devices, it could be deduced that some households might have put too much confidence in their installed security devices whilst neglecting others such as neighbourhood vigilante groups.

30The presence of commercial activities in dwellings is generally a source of attraction to passers-by and this could provide an avenue for criminals to know about the characteristics of a house. As could be expected, the highest proportion of houses which had commercial activities established between their fences and the roads were in the high density residential areas (43.5%) (Table 4.25). The proportion decreased to 37.7 per cent in the medium density residential areas and to 32.5 per cent in the low density residential areas. Many residential buildings also contained sizeable in-house commercial activities. Over half of all residential buildings (54.4%) in the high density residential areas contained commercial activities (table 4.26).

Table 4.25 Presence of commercial activities between the fence and the road

Table 4.25 Presence of commercial activities between the fence and the road

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.26 Use of house

Table 4.26 Use of house

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

31About 50 per cent of the residential buildings in the medium density residential areas contained in-house commercial activities, and even the low density residential areas, had an unexpectedly high percentage, (43.3%). The high percentages of in-house commercial activities may have been caused by the economic hardship in the country.

32On the average, 48.4 per cent of buildings were used for both residential and commercial activities — this is a high proportion. Buildings that were used for both residential and educational purposes or for residential and recreational activities were in a marginal proportion of 0.4 per cent each. More than half of all residential buildings in the low density residential areas were used exclusively for residential purposes (55.5%).

Crime Coping Mechanisms by Neighbourhoods

33The issue of security of residential buildings is not limited to the individual buildings alone. More comprehensive security transcends individual houses; it includes the neighbourhood and extends to the whole city. Neighbourhood security measures are influenced by the social and spatial settings of the neighbourhood. Spatial characteristics include the type of road network and other security facilities provided to make things difficult for perpetrators of crimes to intrude easily into the neighbourhood.

34Research results show that neighbourhood roads in the sampled locations in Lagos range from closes (13.2%) which are assumed to be the safest, decreasing in safety to access roads, which account for as high as 61.8 per cent, to major roads (25.0%) (table 4.27).

35A look at the difference in disorderly behaviour between day and night times shows that closes have the least disorderly behaviour (31.4%) The major roads, as expected, have the highest proportion of disorderly behaviour (34.8%). It is also customary in contemporary times to see gates erected on roads. Such gates are opened and closed at particular times of the day. About half of all residential buildings (50.3%) had gates on their streets as revealed in table 4.28 which shows the security and defensive responses of neighbourhoods to the rising wave of urban violence in the city.

36Bumps were provided on 14.3 per cent of all streets sampled. Residents, however, had different views about bumps on their streets. While some thought that they helped to slow down the speed of escaping criminals, others claimed that bumps were favourite spots for car snatchers who pounced on unsuspecting car owners slowing down at bumps. Only a few streets had security check points (5.6%) and these were common in the low density residential areas. Similarly, only a few streets had warnings of restricted movement within the neighbourhood (6.1%), particularly at night.

Table 4.27 Type of street and differences in behaviour between neighbourhood streets

Table 4.27 Type of street and differences in behaviour between neighbourhood streets

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
Asterisked figures are column percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.28 Security and defensive characteristics of neigbourhood streets

Table 4.28 Security and defensive characteristics of neigbourhood streets

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

37It was surprising that only 10.7 per cent of streets have functional street lights. There is no doubt that a poorly illuminated street will be attractive to criminals. A considerable number of streets, however, had paid night watchmen (53.6%) to keep vigil on the streets at night.

38Neighbourhood facilities are usually jointly provided. This could be through landlords’ associations or the organization of households into vigilante groups. In table 4.29, it can be observed that 61.7 per cent of the households had landlords’ associations.

39Of the houses that were not represented in landlords’ association, 3.56 per cent had absentee landlords, while about 15 per cent claimed that each house in the neighbourhood provided its own security measures (table 4.30).

40Only 19.0 per cent of the households joined vigilante groups. Since as high as 53.6 per cent of households had earlier been identified as having paid night guards in their streets, (see table 4.28), it appeared that they were not interested in joining vigilante groups. Among the series of suggested measures to make their neighbourhoods safe from criminal activities, two were outstanding (table 4.31). These were that the police should react more promptly through regular patrols to curb criminal activities (33.3%) and that street lights should be repaired and put in place to illuminate the streets and expose approaching criminals (25.5%). Others included the provision of high gates in streets (7.1%), the employment of the services of security guards (4.4%), and the organization of households into vigilante groups (4.1%).

Table 4.29 Neighbourhood landlords’ associations and vigilante groups

Table 4.29 Neighbourhood landlords’ associations and vigilante groups

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.30 Reasons for not joining landlords’ associations

Table 4.30 Reasons for not joining landlords’ associations

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.31 Suggestions to make streets or neighbourhoods safer

Table 4.31 Suggestions to make streets or neighbourhoods safer

Source: Fieldwork, 1996

Violence and Feelings of Insecurity in Lagos

41In spite of the series of security measures put in place both at the individual household and at the neighbourhood levels, a proportion of households still feel insecure in their homes and neighbourhoods. As high as 17 per cent or about 2 households in every 10 feel insecure in their residences in Lagos. The proportion of these households drops from 20.4 per cent in the high density residential areas through 17.6 per cent in the medium density residential areas to 14.8 per cent in the low density residential areas (table 4.32).

Table 4.32 Differential feelings of insecurity among residential neighbourhoods

Table 4.32 Differential feelings of insecurity among residential neighbourhoods

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

42The pattern replicates that in the tables 4.1-4.7 on the occurrence of crime, which shows that the incidence of residential burglary, for example, is highest in the high density residential areas and decreases through the medium to the low density residential areas. The frequent occurrence of crime in an area might, therefore, heighten the fear of crime in that area.

43Of those who felt insecure in Lagos, nearly 44 per cent expressed their willingness to live outside Lagos, while about 56 per cent did not want to leave Lagos, in spite of the insecurity (table 4.33). This may also be a psychological phenomenon since about 38 per cent of those who do not feel insecure also expressed a willingness to leave Lagos. This latter group might be burdened by a multiplicity of problems, of which crime is only one. Furthermore, on an individual basis, the proportion of those who had fallen victim to crime and felt insecure is higher (22.9%) than those who felt secure but had not fallen victim to urban violence (14.1%). This confirms that an occurrence of crime is closely related to a feeling of insecurity. There was, however, no significant difference between the feeling of insecurity in a neighbourhood and the presence of vigilante groups. Eighty-one per cent of those who felt insecure had vigilante groups, while a similar proportion of those who felt insecure had no vigilante groups (table 4.34).

Table 4.33 Perception of insecurity and willingness to live outside Lagos

Table 4.33 Perception of insecurity and willingness to live outside Lagos

Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.34 Feeling of insecurity and the presence of vigilante groups in different neighborhoods

Table 4.34 Feeling of insecurity and the presence of vigilante groups in different neighborhoods

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

44Further investigation was made in this research work into the level of security measures in the houses and neighborhoods and the feeling of insecurity. The available security measures were weighted and aggregated for each house and residential neighbourhood. The values obtained were used to classify houses and neighbourhoods into a low, moderate and high level of security measures. These were cross tabulated with the feeling of insecurity. Table 4.35 shows that the feeling of insecurity decreased mildly from 17.67 per cent for houses with a low level of security measures through 17.45 per cent for those with a moderate level, to 16.03 per cent for those with a high level. The proportions are not very different and this implies that the level of security measures in each individual household might not make a significant impact on the feeling of security. However, a more clearly marked difference is observed in table 4.36 where the feeling of insecurity decreases from 19.75 per cent for low aggregate levels of security measures in the neighbourhood to 17.55 per cent for moderate and 13.91 per cent for a high level of aggregate security measures in the neighbourhood. It appears as if households tend to feel more secure if the security measures in their neighbourhood are dependable. This might be better confirmed if one knew what made people feel insecure in their neighbourhoods.

Table 4.35 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in houses

Table 4.35 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in houses

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.36 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in neighbourhoods.

Table 4.36 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in neighbourhoods.

Source:Fieldwork, 1996.

45Table 4.37 shows that the largest proportion of those who feel insecure experienced regular armed robbery attacks in their neighbourhood (53.66%), while 14.15 per cent lived in areas where undesirable elements were also suspected to be living. About 6.83 per cent felt uncomfortable with the absence of security operatives (police) in their neighbourhood, while 25.36 per cent could not adduce any direct reason for their feeling of insecurity.

Table 4.37 Reasons for the feeling of insecurity in neighbourhoods

Table 4.37 Reasons for the feeling of insecurity in neighbourhoods

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

46Only a small proportion of households (4.14%) felt that their security measures were inconvenient (table 4.38). These households were almost equally distributed over two of the reasons adduced. The first reason was that they had to open and lock all security gates in the house and compound, and secondly, that their dogs scared passers-by and visitors. The highest proportion of households claimed that neighbours complained that the main gates in tenement apartments were locked at inconvenient hours. Based on the information above, it was possible to evolve and map out a spatial pattern of urban violence in Lagos. Table 4.39 highlights the 10 highest ranking neighbourhoods of Lagos metropolis considered safe to live in. This is then broadly mapped out in figure 2.

Table 4.38 Reaction of residents to neighbourhood security measures

Table 4.38 Reaction of residents to neighbourhood security measures

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.39 Ten safest residential areas in Lagos

Table 4.39 Ten safest residential areas in Lagos

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Figure 2. Perception of safety of residential areas in Lagos

47Ikoyi ranks highest among those areas considered safe in Lagos, accounting for 17.7 per cent of all respondents’ assessments. Victoria Island ranked second, with 11.3 per cent, while Ikeja ranked third with 6.3 per cent. These areas are the dominantly low density, high income, high status residential areas. However, a disproportionately large number of households claimed that nowhere was safe in Lagos (38.4%). This proportion is more than twice those who chose Ikoyi. This is an indication of the general level of insecurity attached to every part of Lagos.

48On the other hand, a different picture emerges in table 4.40 and is mapped out in figure 3, which also highlights ten of the identified most dangerous areas in Lagos metropolis.

Table 4.40 The ten most dangerous residential areas in Lagos

Table 4.40 The ten most dangerous residential areas in Lagos

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Figure 3. Perception of danger of crime in residential areas in Lagos

49Ajegunle is perceived as the most dangerous part of Lagos (24.4%), while Mushin (18.7%) and Oshodi (8.5%) ranked second and third respectively. Ajegunle and Mushin have percentages which are higher than the percentage of those who perceived Ikoyi as the safest (17.7%). The three highest ranking areas in Lagos perceived as dangerous were generally high density residential areas. However, three areas ranked among the safest in Lagos metropolis were also perceived by some households as among the most dangerous. These areas were Lagos Island, Ikeja, Victoria Island, and Surulere. These areas, therefore, mean different things to different people. However, only a comparatively small proportion claimed that everywhere was dangerous in Lagos (5.6%).

Factors Influencing Feelings of Insecurity in the Residential Neighbourhoods

50The assessment of the feeling of insecurity at home and in neighbourhoods is a crucial outcome of this study on urban violence as it explains the intensity and seriousness of the problem. Although the feeling of insecurity could be considered as largely psychological, its magnitude and repetitive occurrence can be taken as a pointer to the urgent need for solutions to reduce the problem. The characteristics of households that felt insecure were examined using the discriminant and multiple regression analyses. The discriminant function used in the analysis has Wilks’ Lambda value of 0.8500 (table 4.41). The calculated chi-square value of 191.32 is higher than the critical tabled value of 29.59 at 0.0001 level of significance. Ten variables out of twenty-five variables were entered as significant predictors of the difference between households on the feeling of security or insecurity as shown in table 4.42.

51Approximately 77 per cent of the households were correctly classified into their groups (table 4.43). There were some interesting distinguishing characteristics peculiar to each group of households, secure or insecure.

Table 4.41 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of the feeling of insecurity

Table 4.41 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of the feeling of insecurity

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Table 4.42 Classification function coefficients for feeling of insecurity in Lagos

Table 4.42 Classification function coefficients for feeling of insecurity in Lagos

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Note: * - Higher function coefficients.
** - Households that felt secure in their neighbourhoods.
*** - Households that felt insecure in their neighbourhoods.

52Four distinguishing variables had higher levels of association with those households that felt insecure in their neighbourhood, while six variables had higher levels of association with those households that felt secure (table 4.42). Households that felt insecure had a higher level of association with the frequency of the occurrence of crime in their neighbourhoods. This implies that they experienced a higher frequency of the occurrence of criminal activities in their neighbourhoods.

Table 4.43 Classification results of discriminant analysis of feeling of insecurity in Lagos

Table 4.43 Classification results of discriminant analysis of feeling of insecurity in Lagos

Note: * - Households that felt secure in their neighbourhoods.
** - Households that felt insecure in their neighbourhoods.

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

53This feeling of insecurity is expected, since those exposed to frequent and sometimes gruesome criminal experiences are usually filled with fear and become apprehensive of any unusual disturbance in their neighbourhood. This is further corroborated by the higher association of the difference between disorderly behaviour in the daytime and at night.

54It can be deduced from this that disorderly behaviour is particularly disturbing at certain periods either in the day or night. Such behaviour is usually unpredictable and can degenerate into criminal activities of different types. The reaction of households living in such neighbourhoods is naturally expressed through fear and insecurity. Furthermore, those households which expressed fear and insecurity experienced more loss of lives during crimes. If the killing, maiming and brutalization of residents of a neighbourhood are a common occurrence, residents of such neighbourhoods would definitely be in perpetual phobia of possible fatal and violent attacks on their persons since any of them could fall prey. Incidentally, many more members of this group of households have actually experienced residential burglary than those of the other group.

55On the other hand, one of the significant characteristics of households that felt secure in their neighbourhoods was the higher level of aggregate security measures in their neighbourhoods. Apparently, the higher level of security measures could have reduced the activities of undesirable elements in their neighborhoods, as there was little difference between disorderly behaviour in the daytime and at night. Making the neighbourhood safe should, therefore, be given serious consideration since a safe neighbourhood gives residents peace of mind.

56Neighbourhood security measures appear to be more important than individual house level security measures, because computed values for house-level security measures were not entered in the analysis as significant discriminating variables. Therefore, although households could beef up their security measures, neighbourhood security measures were very important in the deterrence of criminal attacks. Neighbourhood security measures should be seen as providing support for house-level security measures as households spent significantly more money on their security measures. This might explain why their security measures were also inconvenient. They had apparently installed more security devices and measures which invariably inconvenienced them and/or their neighbours. This higher level of security measures might have been prompted by their having experienced burglary attacks before they introduced their security measures. They might, therefore, not have wanted to risk another intrusion by undesirable elements. The fact that they made a significantly higher number of calls to the police implies that they had more contact with the police. This analysis, however, does not indicate what action the police took and how effective they were.

57The stepwise multiple regression analysis used to explain the factors influencing the feeling of insecurity entered only 7 out of 25 variables as significant factors (table 4.44). Considering the regression coefficients, the two most sensitive variables were the frequency of burglary incidents and the loss of lives during criminal encounters. Decrease or increase in the values of these two variables could significantly alter the outcome of security feelings in residents, especially since both variables had similar arithmetic signs.

Table 4.44 Factors explaining the feeling of insecurity among Lagos residents

Table 4.44 Factors explaining the feeling of insecurity among Lagos residents

Source: Fieldwork, 1996.

Note: Figures in parentheses are the calculated absolute t-values of the regression coefficients.
* -t - value significant at 0.001.
** -t - value significant at 0.01.
*** -t - value significant at 0.05.

58The least influential variable was the ages of the respondents. However, all the variables entered were low predictor variables for the households’ feeling of insecurity because of the low coefficient of determination (14.43%). The 7 variables thus, jomdy, account for only 14.43 per cent of the factors that influence households’ feeling of insecurity. About 85 per cent of the explanation was unknown. The reasons for this low explanatory power could be that feeling, as important as it is, is psychological and highly subjective. Statistical expression may not be able to effectively capture many factors that generate a feeling. For example, such factors as improving police ability to reduce crime and also the need for the police to increase people’s confidence in them might be very sensitive variables in increasing the feeling of security of individuals. However, such variables cannot be easily incorporated into the statistical analyses used here.

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 4.1 Frequency of occurrence of urban violence
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Titre Table 4.2 Thieves ever broken into house
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 108k
Titre Table 4.3 Distribution of residential burglary by house types
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages. Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 136k
Titre Table 4.4 Type and distribution of illegal activities in Lagos
Légende Notes: 1 Figures in parentheses are row percentages.2 * Figures in parentheses are column percentages of the last 3 rows of table.3 ** are column percentages of the types of violence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 308k
Titre Table 4.5 Methods of attack
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 116k
Titre Table 4.6 Loss of life and property
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are column percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Table 4.7 Value of property lost to crime
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Titre Table 4.8 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of incidence of residential burglary
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 88k
Titre Table 4.9 Classification function coefficients for residential burglary in Lagos
Légende Note: * - Higher function coefficients.** - Households that have experienced residential burglary.*** - Households that have not experienced residential burglary.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 236k
Titre Table 4.10 Classification results of discriminant analysis of incidence of residential burglary
Légende Note: * Households that have experienced residential burglary.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Titre Table 4.11 Characteristics of residential burglary in Lagos
Légende Notes: Figures in parentheses are the calculated absolute t -values of the regression coefficients.* t - value significant at 0.001.** t - value significant at 0.01.*** t - value significant at 0.05.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 192k
Titre Table 4.12 Age of building
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 168k
Titre Table 4.13 Reasons for choice of residential location
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 216k
Titre Table 4.14 Materials used for fences
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages;* =column percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 228k
Titre Table 4.15 Height of concrete fences
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 216k
Titre Table 4.16 Types of material on top of concrete fences
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Titre Table 4.17 Materials used for burglary proofing
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are the column percentages of the last 3 rows.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Table 4.18 Location of installed burglary proofing in houses
Légende Source: Fieldwork. 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Table 4.19 Types of security measures in houses
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 216k
Titre Table 4.20 Types of lighting systems
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 288k
Titre Table 4.21 Remodelling of residential buildings
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 116k
Titre Table 4.22 Type of home remodelling
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages. Asterisked figures are column percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-22.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Table 4.23 Cost of installation of security devices
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are column percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-23.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 296k
Titre Table 4.24 Incidence of burglary before and after installation of security devices
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-24.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 160k
Titre Table 4.25 Presence of commercial activities between the fence and the road
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-25.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 124k
Titre Table 4.26 Use of house
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-26.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Table 4.27 Type of street and differences in behaviour between neighbourhood streets
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.Asterisked figures are column percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-27.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Titre Table 4.28 Security and defensive characteristics of neigbourhood streets
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-28.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 160k
Titre Table 4.29 Neighbourhood landlords’ associations and vigilante groups
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-29.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 184k
Titre Table 4.30 Reasons for not joining landlords’ associations
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-30.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Titre Table 4.31 Suggestions to make streets or neighbourhoods safer
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-31.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 268k
Titre Table 4.32 Differential feelings of insecurity among residential neighbourhoods
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-32.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 108k
Titre Table 4.33 Perception of insecurity and willingness to live outside Lagos
Légende Note: Figures in parentheses are row percentages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-33.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
Titre Table 4.35 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in houses
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-34.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
Titre Table 4.36 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in neighbourhoods.
Légende Source:Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-35.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 136k
Titre Table 4.37 Reasons for the feeling of insecurity in neighbourhoods
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-36.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Titre Table 4.38 Reaction of residents to neighbourhood security measures
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-37.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Titre Table 4.39 Ten safest residential areas in Lagos
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-38.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 212k
Légende Figure 2. Perception of safety of residential areas in Lagos
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-39.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 700k
Titre Table 4.40 The ten most dangerous residential areas in Lagos
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-40.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 224k
Légende Figure 3. Perception of danger of crime in residential areas in Lagos
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-41.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 528k
Titre Table 4.41 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of the feeling of insecurity
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-42.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
Titre Table 4.42 Classification function coefficients for feeling of insecurity in Lagos
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-43.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Table 4.43 Classification results of discriminant analysis of feeling of insecurity in Lagos
Légende Note: * - Households that felt secure in their neighbourhoods.** - Households that felt insecure in their neighbourhoods.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-44.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Titre Table 4.44 Factors explaining the feeling of insecurity among Lagos residents
Légende Source: Fieldwork, 1996.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/499/img-45.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 256k

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