CRIME REPORTING AND OBSERVABLE IMPACT ON ITS VICTIMS
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1.1 Background of the study
There are several difficulties that impinge on the collection of reliable statistics on criminal activity and victimization in Nigeria (Alemika, 2014). Many societies all over the world have had to contend with the consequences of criminal activities, which include lives and properties fear of the unknown, political instability, victimization by conventional criminals, amongst others (Fayeye, 2010.) Even though a member of the society reports a crime to a law enforcement officer, it would not be counted unless it is recorded in a way that allows it to be incorporated into the crime statistics, as a consequence, offending particularly minor offending, may be significantly under counted in situations where law enforcement officers are overloaded with work or do not perceive the offending as worth recording (Jibril, 2013). Some crimes reported are not done in a way that the actual event of things is made known. These crimes lack uniformity, which produce obvious difficulties in actually investigating and solving the crimes that are reported. Another causal factor may include the time frame of the crime. A firsthand account is relatively low. For example by the time a robbery case is being reported, the robbers will probably have fled the victims in the hospital, answering police questions if any is around or even in the mortuary (Nigeria (Alemika, 2014).
Certain behavior are labeled deviant which in actual fact may not be, according to the criminal code of that particular society. Members of the society (victims and witnesses), are most times ignorant of criminal laws. When such behaviors are reported, they are more or less unimportant. Crimes known to police (CKP), already certified as reported may not be analyzed as desired by victims of such immoral acts. Charges may be dropped, even when the perpetrator is arrested. Such is the situation when there is lack of evidence. Another popular incidence is the arrest of innocent persons in place of those that actually committed the crimes. This maybe as a result of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Pleading guilty to a crime, lower than that which an offender commits is another major problem. In most cases, it reduces the levity of punishment and sentence becomes inproportionate to the actual crime committed (Anderson, 2017).
Also among the problems associated with crime reporting, is the dependency of skills on both the prosecuting counsel and defense counsel, with convictions and acquaintances actually depending on the professional skills of both counsels.
Another problem associated with the procedure of reporting crimes is the inconsistencies involved in information given out by the so-called witnesses, when crimes are being investigated. The illiterate nature of most citizens about the legal and criminal code of its society poses a greater threat. Some just give information about a crime thinking that by doing so; they will be popular, given money for coming forth with’ vital information’. With this, they say or do anything to act as if they were present when the crime occurred (Jibril, 2013). This scenario drastically slows down the process of justice.
1.2 Statement of the Problem.
According to Oladele (2017), recently, because of the prevalence of criminal activities in Ilorin, it has been reported of the police prosecuted six cases of kidnap, 42 armed robbery cases, 10 homicide cases, 38 cultists and eight rape cases during the period under review. The commissioner added that 23 different categories of firearms and a large number of ammunition as well as 12 stolen vehicles and 10 motorcycles were also recovered within the period. The commissioner of police, Kwara State command, has warned members of the public on new antics criminals used to dispossessed victims of their property in Ilorin (Oladele, 2017). The commissioner stated that they observed with dismay the following criminal activities in Ilorin metropolis: criminals are using unregistered vehicles to commit crimes; dispossessing commuters of their properties by criminals posing as taxi drivers. Also, coverings of vehicle plate numbers by drivers to prevent easy identification (Ogundipe, 2016). The people in the study area were advised to always be conscious of their environment, board vehicles at recognised motor parks. It is against this background that the study intends to investigate the effect of crime reporting and observable impact on its victims.
1.3 Aims and Objectives.
The general objective to this study is to investigate the crime reporting and observable impact on victims.
Specific objectives of this study are:
- To assess the influence of crime on crime reporting practices.
- To highlight the effect or impact of such reported crimes on their victims.
- To identify kinds of weapons used and make practical suggestions on how to reduce the negative effects of crimes.
- To suggest ways in which criminals are to be punished, for correction.
- To ascertain who exactly can be held responsible for widespread of criminal activities.
1.4 Scope of Study.
This research work is basically concerned with the major effect of crime reporting on the victims and the impact of proper investigation of criminal activities amongst members of the Ilorin metropolitan areas. For the purpose of accurate and effective research work, the study is restricted to a selected sample, from the entire metropolis, a representative of a fair proportion as a whole.
1.5 Significance of the Study.
Most importantly, this research work is to contribute to the knowledge of the criminal activities and how they may be reduced or at most eradicated. It shall also act as a basis for further investigation or scrutinization on crime reporting and the various psychological social effects on its victims. Lastly, it is an attempt to bring into limelight; some of the errors involved in the process of crime reporting and suggest likely solutions on how to improve these services.