The Significance of Law Enforcement Agency and Crime Management

The Significance of Law Enforcement Agency and Crime Management


The Significance of Law Enforcement Agency and Crime Management


Chapter One of The Significance of Law Enforcement Agency and Crime Management



Background of the Study

The prevalence of crime in the world today is a cause for serious concern for all and sundry. It undermines the social fabric by eroding the sense of safety and security. Crime impacts on society in a variety of ways according to the nature and extent of crime committed. It constitutes a problem when its incidence is so rampant in the society as to constitute a threat to the security of persons and property, as well as social order and solidarity [Onoge 1988]. The costs of crime are tangible and intangible, economic or social, direct or indirect, physical or psychological, individual or community. In fact, it is from the cost that the consequences of crime are derived. The cost of crime can be incurred as a result of actual experience of criminal activities, when there is physical injury, when properties are stolen, damaged or destroyed. It could also be in the form of psychological and emotional pains as a result of shock due to the crime done against the victim. Also the cost of crime can be incurred in an attempt to prevent or control crime. As a consequence of the prevalence of crime in society, the demographic composition may be altered through mass movement of people from crime-prone areas to areas perceived to be relatively crime-free. This can also lead to brain-drain and other socio-economic problems.

Crime is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development. Emile Durkheim considered crime to be an integral aspect of society and a “normal” social phenomenon in the sense that it has existed in all societies throughout history. Durkheim believe that mala prohibita crimes (crimes which violates social norms) functions in society as a means of defining the limits of acceptable behaviour, serving as vehicle for social change by extending and testing those boundaries.

According to Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (2009:139) “a crime is held to be an offence, which goes beyond the personal and into the public sphere, breaking prohibitory rules or laws, to which legitimate punishments or sanctions are attached, and which requires the intervention of a public authority…for crime to be known as such, it must come to the notice of, and be processed through, an administrative system or enforcement agency. It must be reported and recorded by the police (or other investigator); it may then become part of criminal statistics; may or may not be investigated; and may or may not result in a court case.” [Scott and Marshall, 2009]

Furthermore, a normative definition views crime as a deviant behaviour that violates prevailing norms – cultural standards prescribing how human beings ought to behave normally. This approach considers the complex realities surrounding the concept of crime and seeks to understand how changing social, political, psychological and economic conditions may affect the current definitions of crime and the form of legal, law enforcement and penal responses made by society. For example, as cultures change and the political environment shifts, certain behaviour may be ‘criminalized’ or ‘decriminalized’, which will directly affect the statistical crime rates, determine the allocation of resources for the enforcement of such laws and influence general opinion.

Law enforcement agencies are agencies set up by law to maintain internal security of the state. For the purpose of this lectures, this paper shall limit its scope to the role of Nigeria Police Force in the promotion and sustainability of participatory democracy and the rule of law. The word Police is derived from Greek word “POLIS” meaning that part of noneclesiastical administration having to do with safety, health and order of the state. Greek policing, meant the act of governing and regulating the welfare, security needs and order of the city- state in the interest of the public.

The Oxford English Dictionary sees Police as “The department of government which is concern with the maintenance of public order and safety and the enforcement of law”. It further defined Police as the civil force which is entrusted with the duty of maintaining public order, enforcing regulations for the prevention and punishment of breaches of law and detection of crime. From the foregoing, the origin of the Nigeria Police Force dated back to 1861. The Force was regarded as Hausa Constabulary, which its primary duty was to protect the trade interest of the Royal Company along the river Niger in the North. This special constabulary metamorphosed into Nigeria Police Force. And by virtue of section 214 of 1999 constitution, Nigeria Police Force was established. It occupies a very important position in the maintenance of internal security in democratic society, hence they are given powers by an enabling statute to disharge their task and bring society to order to avoid anarchy and hardship. Section 4 of Police Act cap 359 law of the Federation 1990. State the primary duty of the Nigeria Police, this include: i. Prevention and detection of crime ii. The Apprehension of offenders iii. Preservation of law and order iv. Protection of life and property v. The enforcement of all law vi. Regulation within which they are directly charge vii. Military duties within and outside Nigeria it may require by the Law.

Statement of the Problem

The conflict orientation sees crime in the perspective of the ruling class. They defined crime as an act or behaviour selectively identified by the few who governed in the society. Society consists of competing interest groups which are in conflict with each other, due to unequal distribution of wealth which results in inequality in economic and social powers. According to Quinney (1980), “dominant class creates laws that will protect their own interests. That lower class crime as a function of miserable life condition and conflict with the interest of the dominant class; and that the dominant class constructs beliefs about crime which makes the dominant class look good and the powerless look bad” [Quinney, 1980].

In the Nigerian context in the 21st century, the breakdown of family values, high unemployment rate, the prevalence of the twin evils of bribery and corruption, and the inability of the police to function effectively in the prevention and control of crime due to inadequate equipment and demoralized personnel, have all contributed significantly to the breakdown of law and order.

Objectives of the Study

The study sought to know the significance of law enforcement agency and crime management in Abuja. Specifically, the study sought to;

1.     i. examine the relationship between law enforcement agency and crime management in Abuja.

2.        ii. examine the role of law enforcement agency in crime management in Abuja.

3.               iii. examine the different categories of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

Research Questions

1.                  What is the relationship between law enforcement agency and crime management in Abuja?

2.                  What are the roles of law enforcement agency in crime management in Abuja?

3.                  What are the categories of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria

Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

Ho: There is no relationship between law enforcement agency and crime management in Abuja

Hi: There is a relationship between law enforcement agency and crime management in Abuja

Hypothesis II

Ho:  Law enforcement agency plays no significant role in crime management in Abuja.

Hi:  Law enforcement agency play a significant role in crime management in Abuja.

Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on immorality in churches will cover all forms of immoral activities that exist in churches today with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem.

Limitations of study

1.                  Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2.                  Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Definition of Terms

Law: This is a system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

Enforcement: This is the process of ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, rules, standards, or social norms

Law enforcement: This is any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.

Law enforcement agency (LEA): law enforcement agency is any agency which enforces the law.

Crime: an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.

Management: the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

Crime management: it is the attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice.