Sociology

Informal Policing Structures and Crime Control: A study of Vigilante Service Groups in Bwari Area Council, Abuja

Masters Degree

The researcher looked at the socio-cultural factors that necessitated the formation of vigilante groups in the area council, the role of vigilante service groups in crime control, the level of acceptance of the group in the area council, the shortcomings of the groups in the area council, the relationship between the group and the police force and how to strengthen and improve vigilante service groups for optimal service delivery to the people of Bwari Area Council, Abuja.

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The study examined informal policing structures and crime control with particular emphasis on vigilante service groups in Bwari Area Council, Abuja. The researcher looked at the socio-cultural factors that necessitated the formation of vigilante groups in the area council, the role of vigilante service groups in crime control, the level of acceptance of the group in the area council, the shortcomings of the groups in the area council, the relationship between the group and the police force and how to strengthen and improve vigilante service groups for optimal service delivery to the people of Bwari Area Council, Abuja. The researcher reviewed three (3) theories for this research work. They are Broken Window theory, Strain theory and Control theory. All the theories in the work gave insight to the topic under study but broken window theory was adopted as the theoretical framework. The researcher made use of multi-stage sampling techniques in selecting the 400 respondents for this study. The study group includes male and female members of the public who are 18 years and above. Data were collected with the use of qualitative and qualitative methods. The in-depth interview guide (ID) and focused group discussion (FGD) were p the instruments used to collect qualitative data while the questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. Responses from the questionnaire were analysed using frequency distribution tables and simple percentages. The researcher tested four hypotheses in the study using the chi-square (X2) static. Two of these hypotheses were accepted while two others were rejected. The study found that vigilante service groups have an important role to play in crime control in Bwari Area Council, Abuja. Hence it is recommended that they should be properly repositioned and adequately motivated through the provision of state-of-the-art equipment’s, adequate funding and constant training and retraining to enable them to continue to contribute their all-important quota to the security of “lives and properties in communities in the Federal Capital Territory.

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