By OBIOTIKA T. WILFRED
Sometimes, we tend to think of crime as only criminal and horrendous offences like murder and robbery. But it is not! Anti-social behaviours as theft, stealing, gossip, bribery, corruption, cheating, dishonesty, arson, assault, battery, oppression, deceit, etc. are crimes as well. The litigation against Senator Ike Ekweremmadu in the UK has shown us that deceit and conspiracy are grave crimes.
A crime could be an offense against Humanity, the Law or the State even against God. Almost, all the crimes committed have a ripple effect on human beings and the sovereign State. When a gallant soldier/policeman is gunned down on active service, we may somehow feel indifferent. Partly because, we are not directly affected or because they are law enforcement agents or due to the fact that it is not the case of a stray bullet or trigger happy officer killing one of our beloved.
Crimes are evil, devilish and wicked deeds. Issues as little as a compromise from our oath of allegiance, calling or function could be very detrimental to the society and individuals. As long as humanity exists, there can never be an end to evil and crimes. Why? The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, made us to know that there is no good in humanity. Judaism taught us that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher ever, told us that out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (Mark 7:21).
When someone cheats or defrauds you, how do you feel? You may not consider revenge immediately as a Christian but that is what crimes look like. Studies and research had indicated that most of the mass shootings carried out in various places in the United States of America were provoked by one thing. That is revenge or frustration. When people’s feelings are messed up, they tend to react in various ways.
This is one of the negative effects of crime. Man is a tripartite being. And man is meant to be controlled by positive thoughts which guides the soul; placates the spirit and put the body in good form.
Most times, the government and the political class even the elites, create a favourable environment for crimes to thrive due to negligence, and failing to do the needful. Bad government can do worse than that, especially when perpetrators of different heinous acts are not prosecuted.
Sometimes, governments whose primary responsibility is protection of lives and property, turn aside and become sponsors of terrorism, banditry and the rest. At the heat of the insecurity in the South-east, predicated by the arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which took the lives of the likes of Dr. Chike Akunyili, a serving lawmaker, Okey di Okay, Governor Soludo took the bull by the horns, imposed curfew on 14 out of the 21 local governments, neutralized culprits and strengthened security network by instituting the Anambra State Security Trust Fund.
RATE OF CRIMES IN THE WORLD
Violent crime is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force upon a victim. Although the exact list varies from country to country, violent crimes can include murder, assault, battery, sexual assault, rape, kidnapping, homicide, manslaughter, robbery, and other crimes associated with the use of force (arson, harassment, negligence).
Violent crime encompasses not only crimes in which the violent act is the main objective, such as cases of murder or rape, but also crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery or extortion. Violent crime rates vary greatly between countries. Although there is rarely a clear reason why crimes are committed, there are numerous factors that are known to affect crime rates.
Countries with high crime rates typically have high poverty levels and low job availability, conditions likely to force people into riskier, more desperate, and morally questionable solutions (which are often further enabled by underdeveloped law enforcement agencies) Crime rates tend to be lower in countries with favorable living conditions (wealthy), straight police enforcement, and tough sentences for crimes. There is also a strong correlation between age and crime. Most crimes, especially violent crimes, are committed by those aged 20-30.
RATES OF VIOLENT CRIMES
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2019 Global Study on Homicide, 464,000 people died from violent crimes in 2017. The report states that countries with high firearm rates have higher intentional homicide rates. Some of the lowest violent crime rates can be seen in Europe. Many European countries have violent crime rates of less than 1 incident per 100,000 people. These countries have stricter gun laws and less gun ownership, as well as effective law enforcement.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE THE HIGHEST /LOWEST CRIME RATES
Many countries are dangerous as hell. Target killers, kidnappers, carjackers, and other criminals are wandering here and there to find their next victim. The performance of law enforcement agencies in these countries is zero. In many countries, even members of security forces are partners in crime and ask for their share of the loot. Some countries with the highest crimes are: 1. Venezuela 2. Papua New Guinea 3. South Africa 4. Honduras 5. Afghanistan. Some countries with the lowest crime rates are: 1. Iceland 2. New Zealand 3. Portugal 4. Austria 5. Denmark 6. Canada. All countries with poor economies, political instability, corruption, the poor performance of the law enforcement agencies have the highest crime rates.
RATE OF CRIME IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is considered to be a country with a high level of crime, ranking 17th among the least peaceful countries in the world. Nigeria is the second country in Africa with the highest risk of genocide and the sixth worldwide. This risk is influenced by a population of over 200 million people, high child mortality rate, ongoing battle related deaths, the county’s own History of mass killing, and its ethnic fractionalization. Major crimes in Nigeria include rape, kidnapping, murder, burglary, fraud, terrorism, robbery, cyber-crimes, bribery and corruption, money laundering and so on. Political instability, citizen alienation, terrorism and violence define the Nigerian crime scene.
Nigeria has recently been included among the countries with the least peace in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. It is the 18th less peaceful state. In addition, Nigeria is the sixth country most affected by terrorism, based on the Global Terrorism Index. One further serious threat in Nigeria is the risk of mass killing or genocide. Recently, the IGP, Usman Baba, has ordered the immediate deployment of security operatives to schools, hospitals, institutions and critical national infrastructure nationwide. He commanded patrol, stop and search, profile offenders and charge them to court. Some states in the North has equally closed down schools due to the threat of banditry.
GOVERNOR SOLUDO’S RESOLUTION ON INSECURITY IN ANAMBRA STATE
Following the heightening state of insecurity in Anambra State, the state governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has said that his administration has drawn a battle line against criminals, insisting that no place in the state would be safe for them to operate. The governor added that the fight against insecurity topped the activities of his government, beginning from the period of his swearing in, on March 17.
The professor of econometrics has earlier stated in his inaugural address that criminality cannot be sugarcoated. Donate generously to the Anambra State Security Trust Fund. Anambra State cannot allow criminal elements to take over the state. Governor Soludo’s Administration does not fight insecurity only but fights bad roads, business failure, malaria, unsafe working environment, lack of infrastructure, unstable economy, inadequate farming/agriculture, epileptic electricity etc.
HOW TO REDUCE CRIME IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
- Get to know your neighbours 2. Start a neighborhood watch 3. Get to know your local police department 4. Report suspicious activity when you see it 5. Push local politicians to do more 6. Keep your neighbourhood clean 7. Increase the number of cameras around your home. Preventing crime takes each individual person being responsible for their own safety and making wise choices.
In recent years, criminals and insurgents are exploring the nation’s vulnerabilities, devising new ways of posing harm to individuals, society and the country; insurgency and criminal activities have indeed engulfed Nigeria at all axis. In this technological world, information is key. Thus, for a practical and successful application of our proposed technological methods, there is need for a primary source of information.
LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS
As a law enforcement officer, his fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency… etc. Looking at the above mentioned, and the rate of criminal conviction, we will deduce that our security apparatus has been severely compromised.
CAUSES OF CRIME
The causes of crime are complex. Poverty, parental neglect, low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse can be connected to why people break the law. Some are at greater risk of becoming offenders because of the circumstances into which they are born. Peer pressure. Crime and drug abuse are closely related. Politics, Religion, Background, Society, Unemployment.
4 major strategies for reducing crime are: law enforcement, developmental, community and situational prevention. “Prevention is the first imperative of justice” (United Nations Document) Crime prevention comprises strategies and measures that seek to reduce the risk of crimes occurring, and their potential harmful effects on individuals and society, including fear of crime, by intervening to influence their multiple causes. Crime prevention is a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary, and integrated endeavor.
I believe we ought to fight to get all the education we can, but we dare not make it our god. John Dewey once defined education as the systematic, purposeful reconstruction of experience; but so much of modern education leaves out God. What we are actually doing is reconstructing our sins. We expand our sins, enlarge them, multiply them. We need education, but not just for the mind and the body;
we also need education for the spirit. Man has a spirit, and in our educational system today we need a spiritual emphasis. If we bring up a generation that lacks the wisdom that God can give, they can turn into educated savages and fools. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” and education. Let’s make sure our rock is God.
DANGERS OF CRIME/HOW DOES CRIME AFFECT THE SOCIETY
If crime levels rise, there will be less money for other services such as education and healthcare. Crime also costs individuals through higher prices in shops for goods and services. If businesses are losing money to crime, they pass this cost on to customers by increasing prices. Crime does not just affect individuals, communities which experience higher levels of crime are also adversely affected.
Violence can lead to premature death or cause non-fatal injuries. People who survive violent crime endure physical pain and suffering and may also experience mental distress and reduced quality of life. Repeated exposure to crime and violence may be linked to an increase in negative health outcomes. Children and adolescents exposed to violence are at risk for poor long-term behavioral and mental health outcomes regardless of whether they are victims, direct witnesses, or hear about the crime. The effects of exposure to violence in childhood may be seen in adulthood and can result in greater risk for substance use, risky sexual behavior and unsafe driving behavior.
Fighting of crimes and insecurity in Nigeria has been a challenging task, indeed, it’s a challenging task even for the most developed countries and this will surely continue to be same. However, as with the developed countries, the use of modern technological means can be an effective means of reducing and controlling some insecurity challenges and crimes. We need to explore new frontiers and options to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
OBIOTIKA T. WILFRED
Holy Child Secondary School,