has always existed from the inception of time. From the dawn of the 19th
century, three broad perspectives have contributed to the explanation of crime.
Early in the century, crime was thought to be as a result of urban
despicability, poor parenting and poverty. Crime today is a major problem of
both public and private concern.
like other concepts in social sciences, has no generally accepted definition.
At first, it might seem really easy to define, such as doing something wrong or
relating crime to pure societal evil.
is a socially constructed phenomenon. Its meaning is influenced by
considerations of time and space. Its construction is based upon the
interaction of four key elements, which is also known as the chemistry of
crime. These elements or components are – the victims, the offenders, a
possible target and the absence of a guardian. For crime to be said to occur,
these elements have to interact together.
Criminologists infer that crime has two major
elements, – criminal act which is either a commission or an omission and mental
element which is called the criminal intent, which is the rationality of the
criminal. Both of the elements may pose serious threat to the physical, mental
health, life and property. Therefore, crimes must have these two elements and
if either of them is lacking, then there is no crime.
Crime is basically defined through the eyes of
the society. An act is not a crime until society dooms it to be and if society
considers some acts, not opposed to their group sentiments, then that act is
not a crime at all. Crime is an act which offends and threatens the society.
Therefore, those act needs to be punished. The basic reason behind the making
of law is to take punitive measures on those who commit the crime and these
laws are the result of society’s need to stop the happening of such act.
example, witchcraft much earlier was considered as a crime and was punishable.
At that time, people were very religious and believed in black magic or
witchcraft and thought that witchcraft was a crime and those who practice it should
be persecuted. In a strict legal sense, crime is the breaking of rules or laws
for which some governing authority, such as legal systems, can ultimately
prescribe a conviction.
Therefore, crime is relative.
society across the globe has its problems and challenges. Nigeria is no
exception. As a developing country that she is, she faces her own social,
political, economic and cultural problems which have in no small measure of
quantity affected the well-being of the general populace. One of such problems
bedeviling the country is the rising wave of crime. Nigeria has been on the global
crime map since 1980.
days, criminals are getting more and more methodological and smarter in the manner to which they carry out
criminal acts physically, (via the use of weapons and man power),
psychologically, for instance, hypnosis is used to commit crimes, and
scientifically, via the use of devices and the internet. For example white
collar crimes have become rampant. It refers to financially motivated
nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals, it was
first defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed by
a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”
What is troubling is the new dimension in methodological criminal acts in
Nigeria which involves acts of terrorism and sabotage against individuals and
Incidents such as a case in which some
individual were stalked and eventually trapped in uncompleted buildings,
basements or even car trunks depict the
viciousness of violent criminals. These acts are usually well planned,
orchestrated, syndicated and organized in the mafia-type fashion.
Nigeria, to control and stop these types of crime, three bodies are responsible
for the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria. These bodies are: the
court, the police and the prison. The Nigerian civil police force is made up
of; custom, immigration and prison enforcement. According to section 194 of the
1979 constitution, the Nigerian Police Force is appointed with jurisdiction
throughout the country.
branches of the police force protect the harbor, waterways, railways and
airfields. The Nigerian police force performs typical police functions and is
responsible for internal security.
The views that
citizens have about the police are important. These views can influence the
degree and type of interaction people have with the police and the degree of
support provided to the police (Cao & Dai, 2006). Without public support,
modern policing is difficult, if not impossible (Islam & Ali, 2008).
Positive views of the police by citizens can lead to a positive relationship
with the police, which can improve the effectiveness of the police (Brown &
Negative views can
lead to resentment, which can impede the ability of the police to be effective
formal agents of law and order (Goldsmith, 2005). Policing views are,
therefore, important to explore and understand (Nalla & Madan, 2011). While
there is a growing body of research on policing views, the vast majority of
studies have focused on Western nations, especially the United States (Brown,
Benedict, & Wilkinson, 2006; Cao & Dai, 2006).
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