Crime Location and Reporting Practices of Victims in Lagos, Nigeria

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: Booth 58
Oral Presentation
Johnson AYODELE , Department of Sociology, Lagos State University, Nigeria
Differential concentration by government of its development projects on urban areas at the expense of rural upgrade causes variation in the character of victimization and citizens’ responses to crime from rural, through semi-urban to urban communities. This paper examines the influence of crime location on crime reporting practices among residents of Lagos, Nigeria.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted. Multistage sampling procedure was used in selecting 948 respondents for the survey. Six In-Depth Interviews, 12 Key Informant Interviews and 10 Case Studies were conducted with divisional crime officers, crime victims, victims’ relations, traditional rulers, landlord associations and religious leaders to elicit complementary qualitative data. Data analysis involved the use of simple percentages, chi square and content analysis.

Findings showed more respondents (62.5%) were victimised at public than other locations in the study area. Crime locations without light (49.3%) and those lacking network coverage for police notification by phone (49.3%) discouraged crime reporting. While 53.3% of respondents identified some crime incidents as too trivial to deserve reporting, fewer respondents (46.8%) insisted that serious crimes will be reported despite the crime location. About 59.1% rural, 47.1% semi urban and 46.7% urban respondents acknowledged crime location influenced their crime reporting practices, implying that 40.9% of rural 52.9% semi urban and 53.3% urban respondents did not report their victimisation experiences. Chi-square analysis indicates that location and crime reporting were significantly related in the study setting (P value < 0.05)

The study concluded that disparity in resource allocation and security commitment to the diverse communities of Lagos accounted for respondents’ differing responses to crime through reporting. While public policy gives equal development and security concern to the communities in Lagos, the study suggests that police authorities should pay renewed interest to human safety to reduce residents’ vulnerability at public spaces in the study area.