THE POLICE AND USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Crimino…

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in operation and detection/ control of property crimes. One of the basic functions of every government is the protection of lives and properties. Hence, it is the sole responsibility of the formal police structures to see to this objective and the problem of crime has become acute that the police force as a government apparatus has no choice other than to employ the use of technologies to curb crime. This study was positioned to evaluate the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in property crimes detection and controls by the police in Abuja Municipal Area Council. The sample size for the study comprised of two hundred (240) respondents cutting across (140) members of the police force and (100) members of the public. The sampling technique for the study was the multistage sampling technique. The structured questionnaire and in-depth interview (IDI) served as the instruments of data collection. The findings from the study therefore revealed that the utilization of ICT by the police in property crimes detection and control has been significantly felt within the Abuja Municipal Area Council. The study therefore recommends proactive strategies to effect a change in the attitude of police and police organizational structure to accommodate ICT in their schemes.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The major law enforcement agency, police have been recognized as an important part of the state administration. Police is the major player to give greatest security to the public by controlling the crimes and maintenance of law and order. In the ancient times the major job of the police personnel was to maintain law and order and establish the sovereignty of the state. (Chaturbedi, 2006) Police is the state subject thereby, making state governments responsible for maintaining law and order and preventing crime. In modern times due to the process of liberalization, privatization and globalization the police force is facing the new challenges.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has been trying to operate a means to ensure that the internal security of the country is maintained, but in spite of this effort, there appears to be growing uncertainty in public order, as reports of high crime rate such as armed robbery, assassination, kidnapping and child trafficking seem to be on the increase (Punch Newspaper, May 29, 2009, Pg. 7). With increasing anxieties of the fast growing cities and slums full of poor, anonymous and potentially dangerous classes, it has been argued that the police hardly see itself as the law enforcer and the defender of the society against lawbreakers. As such, this is responsible for the public criticism of the inability of the police to fight crime in the society, as the police morale has also been dampened over the years.There is no doubt that the need for technologies to help the police fight crime can never be over-emphasized as the relationship between both the police and technologies goes a long way in the determination of the achievement and sustainability of their ultimate goals, and also, the success and well-being of the nation at large. The role of technology in police institutions and police practices has long been recognized as relevant and ambivalent (Ogunbameru, 2008). Technological advances are particularly relevant for policing because they are seen to influence the organization and practices of police in the ways that intimately connect to the police function of crime control. New and more efficient means of crime detection, communication among police, and police transportation, all these influence how successful police is doing its job as a group of crime fighters, and additionally affecting the level of legitimacy police receive from the public and relevant bodies of governments (Simon, 2004).

Striking a more general theme of societal modernization in the development of policing, police’s reliance on technology generates some tension between demands for effective crime control on the one hand, and a continued and revived focus on issues of justice and rights, on the other hand. The increasing use of technology in police institutions was virtually synonymous with advancing progress and civilization. However, soon after technologies were introduced and applied by police, suspicions also mounted against an excessive and unbalanced reliance on technology. In particular, civil-liberation currents sought to curb technologically driven police practices that were motivated by a blind reliance on the often assumed, but largely unproven merits of technologies at the expense of concerns of civil rights and constitutional demands of due process. The tension between a need for efficacy in crime control and the recognition and respect for citizen and human rights has remained a central topic of controversy since when technologies were applied in policing.

The new “information imperative” for police organizations would have been impossible to satisfy only a decade ago, but it is now feasible because of affordable advances in information technology and the intense pressure on police to detect threats in advance. While we can expect more tactical and strategic changes in the near future as diverse forms of technology take center stage today, the largest influence on police decision making has come from data mining systems.

Based on the premises above the study intends to investigate the  how information and communication technology have improved the securing life and property responsibilities of the police.

1.2  STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

We are in the era of law enforcement where ICT and other advanced technologies are becoming a powerful tool for responding to criminals, engaging in hotspots policing, solving violent crimes, monitoring employees’ performance and many other functions. The introduction if this new methods of technology has been a blessing and a curse to the police and other security agencies in performing their protection of life and property. Because the so called law committers are also indulging in the usage of the technology to boycott the hands of the law through the manipulation of the security officials (Wardman & Allison. 2004) Technologies, such as video cameras, data mining systems, heat sensors, biometrics, GPS tracking, Internet and telecommunication systems are being used for the detection, investigation, prosecution and prevention of crime in the law enforcement community. As it did in the middle of the 20th century, technology is beginning to alter the nature of policing and to impact on the management and delivery of police services. Emerging models of policing in the 21st century demand accurate real-time information for strategic planning, problem analysis, deployment decisions, community interface, inter-organizational communication, accountability, threat detection and many other functions (Simon, 2004). Based on the dual premises of being a blessing and a curse the study will fill the gap by enquiring into impact of information and technology on the operations of the police in Nigeria.

1.3  OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This study intends to investigate the impact of information and technology on the detention and protection of property and crimes. The specific objectives include;

1.      To identify the various information and communication gadgets that has aided the operations of the police in Nigeria

2.      Examine the negative effects of information and communication technology on the operation of the police

3.      To mirror out the benefit of information and communication technology in the maintenance of law and order through the use of the police.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.      What are the various information and communication gadgets that has aided the operations of the police in Nigeria?

2.      What are the negative effect of information and communication technology on the operation of the police?

3.      What are the benefit information and communication technology has fostered between the citizen and police in the community.

1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0= Information and communication technology has no effect on police operations

H1= Information and communication technology has effect on police operations

1.6  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study will be of significance to the following stakeholder; Police, Law enforcement agencies and the citizens in the community.

The police will from the findings of this study, be able to know importance of information and communication technology in the course of their chosen field of engagement. The police will be able to improve on the use of the nearest information and communication gadgets that the society which they reside in, has the capacity to use.

The Law enforcement agencies will from this study be able to the relevance of information and communication technology in attaining their desired goals and aim in the course of discharging their duties in various security units.

The society will from the findings be able to know the importance of information and communication technology in the course of reporting crime.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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