POLICE AND CRIME PREVENTION IN NIGERIA
Akintunde Kabir Otubu ~ Sunday A. Coker
Introduction The importance of law and order to orderly development and growth of a society, both in the physical and economic sence, cannot be over emphasized. It is only a mind that is secured and at peace that can rationally address the issues of procreation, economic development and societal growth. A disturbed mind is a restless and distraught personality. It is therefore imperative to have peace and order in the society to assure its growth and development.
The role of law enforcement in the maintenance of peace and order in the society is a foregone conclusion. Every man by nature is selfish and self-centred;1 in most case he needs the presence of the state institution of law enforcement to be able to act right and just.
Studies in anthropology and law show that however one goes back into the history of a people, one would find regulatory rules of conduct and mechanisms for enforcing these rules. The evolution of these mechanism has taken different shapes in different settings, depending on the political, social and economic stages of development of the people concerned.2 Thus irrespective of the people, state or nation concerned, the presence of law enforcement agencies in the body polity of the state is a sine qua non for safety of lifes and properties in a state. The place of the police in the scheme of things with respect to law enforcement cannot be over emphasized. Along sides, and times above all, others law enforcement3 agencies, the police provide and assure the internal security of the nation.
Tunde Otubu LLB LLM BL Lecturer Faculty of Law, University of Lagos Akoka. 1. Thomas Hobbes Theory of Law of Nature 2 Tinubu K.O. “The Police and Administration of Justice in Nigeria in proceedings of the conference of NationalElectronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1126645 at 113 Association of Law Teachers held at Unilag on.24-25 March 1972 page 112
3. Order Law Enforcement Agencies include the Army NDLEA, EFCC, CUSTOM SERVICES, State Security Services (SSS), Immigration Services, Prison Services etc
2. Realizing the important role of the police in state security scheme the Royal commission on Police in United Kingdom commented in 1962 that
“the maintenance of law and order ranks with national defence as a primary task of government. It is an essential condition of a nation’s survival and happiness”4 In furtherance of the foregoing there are several legislations and regulations put in place to assist the police at carrying out this duty of protection of life and properties of the citizen and the provision of internal security of the nation.
One of such legislation is the Police Act. By virtue of the provision of section 4 of the Police Act. “The police shall be employed for the prevention5 and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulation with which they are directly changed....”6 Arising from the above provision and in line with the topic of this paper we shall be focusing primarily on the prevention of crime duties of the police. This is not to suggest that this duty can be totally insolated and discussed from other related duties of the police, however the paper shall dwell much rather than the prosecution responsibilities.
To do justice to topic the paper shall, outside the introduction, proceed to examine the concept of crime prevention and its corollary crime detection. It will then proceed to identify the legal framework or regime put in place to assist and ensure the realisation of the object of crime prevention and detection under Nigeria law. In doing this, the various schemes and practices of crime prevention and detection strategies being used and that may be used by the police in...
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