Journal of Contemporary Urbanology

Criminal Victimization in a Slum Neighbourhood in Nigeria

Patience Adzande (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Benue State University, Makurdi padzande@bsum.edu.ng).

Abstract

Lower income residential areas with poor environmental conditions, usually referred to as slums are often perceived as crime infested areas. Over the years, this widespread belief has influenced the responses of policy makers to the problems associated with slums. It appears the crime tag on deteriorating residential environments has been acceptedas little effort has been made to either provide empirical justification for such claims or to dispute them. This study therefore investigated the distribution of crime in Angwan-Jukun, a residential area with slum-like conditions in Makurdi town. The types, intensity of crime and categories of people victimized were examined and the perceived components of the environment that encourage crime were identified A criminal victimization survey questionnaire was administered to household heads in the study area. Seventy seven households were selected using the systematic sampling technique. Residents'perception of the environmental components that influence crime was assessed using the likert scale with options ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The data obtained was collated and presented with the use of descriptive statistics. Correlation was applied to interrogate the relationship between the level of victimization and the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the respondents. Findings suggest that the prevalent type of crime in the area is youth gangsterism; but most of the victims experienced theft. Victimization in the area is random and due to chance while the absence of street lights and proliferation of liquor shops were perceived by the residents as the major factors contributing to the occurrence of crime in the area.

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