Tuesday 13 September 2011


1.0: Introduction and objectives

Crime victimization surveys are very critical instruments of law making, polices, programmes and decisions aimed at promoting safety and security in society. They are also required instruments for effective and efficient planning, operations and administration by the police, prosecutors, judges and prison officials. The significance of crime surveys derive from the inadequacies of official criminal statistics produced by the police, prosecutors, courts, prisons and numerous other law enforcement and regulatory agencies in the various countries.
Reliable crime statistics are required by various groups for different purposes. Without reliable crime statistics:

1.     Criminologists cannot produce reliable and valid theoretical explanations of criminals, crimes and victims;
2.     Governments and criminal justice policy-makers cannot develop relevant and effective laws and policies for effective control of crime and insecurity.
3.     Law enforcement officials cannot offer effective service because they do not know the extent and pattern of crime and victimization in their commands.
4.     Judges cannot pass judgments that reconcile the interests of the society, offenders and victims;

5.     Prison and correction officials will lack the required information for the training, reformation and rehabilitation of offenders
6.     Members of the society will lack the necessary information that may assist them in taking the appropriate actions that may enhance their personal safety and public security.

Due to the significance of crime and victimization statistics, states strive to develop adequate capacity and deploy enough human, financial and infrastructural resources for the collection and analysis of the incidence, prevalence, trends and patterns of criminal activities and victimization in order to acquire necessary knowledge and ability for crime prevention and crime control. However, the availability of reliable crime and victimization statistics has remained a major problem, to varying degrees, in most countries.

Several problems impinge the collection of reliable statistics on criminal activity and victimization[1]. The following are the major difficulties.
  1. Some crimes occur without anyone realizing it;
  2. Many victims of crimes do not report them to formal law enforcement officials such as the police to enable them record such events;
  3. Law enforcement agents may resolve some crimes brought to their notice without recording them and invoking the criminal process.

These are often acknowledged as the problems of ‘dark’ and ‘grey’ crime figures, which imply ‘unknown or undetected or unreported crime’ and ‘detected, reported but not recorded’ incidents of crimes and victimizations. These problems indicate that the crime statistics produced by the criminal justice agencies – police, courts, prosecutors and prisons – are not true or accurate reflection of the extent and pattern of criminal activities and victimization in society.

Measurement and sources of crime statistics
There are three measurement and sources of crime statistics. They are the official statistics, self-report crime survey, and crime victim survey.

Official crime statistics:Official crime statistics are mainly produced by the police, prisons and the courts. Official statistics are the traditional indicators of the level and pattern of criminality. But they are inaccurate due to dark figures (unreported crimes), grey figures (reported but unrecorded crimes; manipulation of records to satisfy political and, or institutional interests like when reported increase or decrease may be advantageous to regime in power or the police force). Official statistics are indicators of criminal activities brought to the notice of criminal justice agencies and the actions that they take in respect of reported incidents. They are useful for the purpose of understanding the volume, variety, and distribution of crimes processed by the criminal justice institutions.

Self-report survey: Crime survey involves the study of a sample of the population as regards the types and number of crimes that they committed during a particular period, usually during the past year - whether or not detected or reported to the police. The method uses questionnaire to collect relevant information.

Crime victimization survey: Victim survey is used to obtain data on the extent of criminal victimization. Unlike crime survey, which is used to obtain data on the extent and patterns of crimes committed by members of society, victim survey is used to measure the extent and pattern of victimization in a community, among members of groups and in a nation. Questionnaires are designed and administered to gather information on respondents’ experience of criminal victimization. The present study adopted the crime victimization survey method.

3.0: Population, Sampling and Method
The study employed survey research methodology. Its principal aim was to determine the views of Nigerians on the extent, trends and patterns of crime in the society in order to develop and implement effective administration of criminal justice.

The population for the study consists of all adult Nigerian males and females aged 18 years and older. It was conducted in all the thirty six states of Nigeria (36) and the Federal Capital Territory.  The basic methodology employed for data collection was the in-home, face-to-face personal interview using a stratified multi-stage random selection procedure in order to achieve a nationally representative sample (proportional representative sample).

Respondents for this study were adult Nigerian males and females aged, eighteen years and above and have stayed in the selected household for a period of not less than six months.  Non-citizens of Nigeria, people aged less than eighteen years and people living in institutionalized settings were not part of the respondents. A total of 10, 228 respondents were interviewed in June and July 2011 nationally. 200 of them were from Ekiti based on population to sample ratio.

The questionnaire was translated to Pidgin English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages. These were the local languages spoken predominantly in the country.  The translation aimed at ensuring uniform translation of questions and proper administration of questionnaire by the field interviewers.

The fieldwork for the survey was conducted by Practical Sampling International (PSI), a very competent private commercial company with wide experience in survey research.

4.0:  Findings for Ekiti State
The major findings on fear of crime, Nature and Extent of Criminal Victimization, reporting of crime to the police, Measures for improving police effectiveness and community safety, corruption are priority issues for attention by government are highlighted in this presentation:

Fear of Crime
Nearly 2 out of every three respondents interviewed in Ekiti State were fearful of crime (63%). However, the figure was below the national average of 71% and southwest average of 64%. In terms of trends, it was also below that figure for 2010, 77%.

When disaggregated by gender and geography, women (66%) and people living in urban (79%) areas where more fearful of crime than men (60%) and people in rural areas (41%).

Extent of Criminal Victimization

Overall, slightly more than one out of every five respondents in Ekiti (23%) admitted experiencing criminal victimization over the past one year period covered by the survey.  This was slightly below the national average of 24%, though higher than Southwest average 18%. When disaggregated by gender, the findings show that men and women were equal in their experiences of criminal victimization (23%). However, people in urban areas were more likely to experience crime (27%), than those in rural areas (17%).  When compared with figures for 2010, there is a double-digit fall in overall experience of criminal victimization in Ekiti this year: 2010 (35%), 2011 (23%).

Nature of Criminal Victimization

On robbery, 15% of the respondents in Ekiti State were victimized in 2011, which was above the national average of 13% and also above the southwest average of 12%. When disaggregated by gender, more men (20%) suffered robbery compared to women (10%). Similarly, when disaggregated by geography, people in the urban areas (18%) were more likely to suffer robbery than those in the rural areas (8%).

Physical Assault
Only 5% of respondents disclosed being assaulted in Ekiti State, which was both below the national average of 20% and southwest average of 12%.

Theft of Mobile Phone
Theft of mobile phone is both the number one crime in Ekiti and Nigeria in general. 68% of the respondents admitted that their mobile phones were stolen, which was higher than the national average of 50% and the southwest average of 60%. When disaggregated by gender and geography, women and people living in urban areas were likely to have their phones stolen than men and people living in the rural areas.

Theft of Money
28% of the respondents admitted that their monies were stolen in Ekiti State in 2011, which was below the national average of 35% and southwest average of 34%.

Domestic Violence
8% of the respondents in Ekiti admitted suffering domestic violence in 2011, which was below the national average of 21% and southwest average of 10.5%.

Burglary (Breaking and Entering)
3% of respondents in Ekiti suffered burglary in 2011, which was below the national average of 14% and southwest average of 9%.

Theft of Agricultural products
Nearly one of every 5 respondents in Ekiti (18%) disclosed suffering theft of agricultural products, which is higher than the national average of 10% and southwest average of 6%.

8% of respondents in Ekiti admitted that rape was widespread in their areas, which marches the national average of 8% but higher than the southwest average of 4%.

Reporting of crime to the police
Only 1 out of every 10 respondents (10%) in Ekiti who suffered criminal victimization in 2011 reported to the police, which was below the national average of 16% and also lower than the southwest average of 13%. When disaggregated by gender, there is difference between the reporting habits of men and women (10%). However, geography is a very significant variable in the reporting habit of people in Ekiti State: whereas 14% of those living in urban areas reported, none in the rural areas did so. Analysis by trends, more people reported in 2010 (23%) than 2011 (10%).

Measures to Improve Police performance and community safety
Better equipment (41%), Improved training (20%), Adequate funding (17%), discipline and supervision (11%) and insulation of police from partisan politics (4%), were priority recommendations by respondents for improving police performance in crime control in Ekiti State.

However, employment (31%), Fixing the roads (20%) education (17%), poverty reduction (11%), stable electricity (9%), police capacity (5%) and hasher punishment (5%), were recommended as measures that should be taken by government to improve community perception of safety.

Corruption in Ekiti State
Nearly one out of every 5 respondents (19%) admitted paying or being asked to pay bribe by government officials in Ekiti before services could be rendered to them in 2011.  However, this figure was below the national average of 20%.

Among public officials who demanded for bribe Ekiti State, the police (38%), PHCN (27%), lecturers (27%) and court officials (15%) were the highest.

When the figures were disaggregated by gender and geography, the findings reveal that men (26%) and people living in urban areas (30%) were more likely to be asked to pay bribes by public officials than women (13%) and people living in rural areas (7%).

In terms of trends, demand for bribe has reduced in Ekiti state from 36% in 2010 to 19% in 2011.

On what should be done to reduce demand for bribe in Ekiti State, respondents suggested examplary leadership (85%), Better education/upbringing (79%), tougher laws and control systems (65%) and improved salary for public servants (62%).

Priority areas for government attention
Finally and generally, respondents were asked to recommend one priority area the government of Ekiti State should pay more attention to. Road construction/maintenance (35%), Crime Control (14%), improved salary for civil servants (12%) and responsiveness to public opinion (11%) respectively were highlighted.

Thanks for listening.

Innocent Chukwuma
Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation.

[1]Etannibi EO Alemika 2004. “Crime statistics and information management in Nigerian justice and security systems” in EEO Alemika and IC Chukwuma (Eds.) Crime and Policing in Nigeria: Challenges and Options, Lagos: Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN).


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