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Opinion: How we can combat crime in Nigeria

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Opinion: How we can combat crime in Nigeria - Police 1200x780 1 300x195 - Opinion: How we can combat crime in Nigeria

My social media timelines have been a sad, jumbled mess in the last one week. Apart from some ridiculous incidences that had me laughing, like the ₦83,000 dinner date incidence, the news has been all about incidences of domestic violence, rape, armed robbery, and all manner of a crime you can ever imagine.

It is rather sad that we tend to trivialize crime here in Nigeria, especially during this period we call ‘the ember months’. The song on everyone’s lips is that Christmas is coming, so we should expect an increase in crime.

True, crime would increase during festive periods because there would always be that person eager to make all the money he did not make throughout the year so that he can prove to the world that he is something other than what he is. But knowing this, shouldn’t there be concrete efforts to forestall or at least mitigate crime during these periods?

As usual, we have left an important issue that we could have easily tackled to the Nigerian God. Even God in the Bible tells us that if the homeowner had known at what hour the thief would come, he would not have let him come in. In other words, God is telling us that the solution we desperately seek is in our hands.

Now let us activate our imaginations and assume that we are in a country where everything works. We have noticed that crime is a major problem in this utopian Nigeria, and it gets worse at certain times of the year.

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The first thing to do to combat crime in Nigeria is to analyze the present circumstances and the available resources we have to improve it. A reformation may not be the best first step because we are in a reactive and not a proactive or predictive situation. Are our available resources enough to restore order in the society, or do we need to source for more?

Once we establish where we are with our resources, we would need to turn to the crimes committed and those behind it. What kinds of crimes are being perpetrated? What are the profiles of possible criminals? Can our police- who should be the responsible security outfit in this situation; successfully combat them, or would they need some form of training in identifying how the criminals work?

At this point, it is important to state that the best way to understand how local gangs or crime groups work is to get the police to familiarize themselves with the locals in the hot spots. The police can either get some trustworthy locals to work with them, or they can have people from the affected areas acting as spies for them. These spies would help to gather all the information they need about the criminals to help the police determine the best way to attack.

The next step is to strategically deploy the police into the affected areas, equipping them with all the necessary resources they need to combat crime as explained in step 1. If they have followed all the aforementioned steps religiously, it is almost certain that they would be able to make crime almost non-existent in the country.

Of course, after this reactive approach, the next sensible step to take is to analyze the results of the reactive method, combine it to what we know to be the causes of crime in the society, and design solutions to eliminate these causes. So for example, in the course of investigating the reasons behind increased crimes in the country, we realize that the major cause of crime is the fact that we have a mostly unemployed and very young population. A solution would be to create more jobs for the youths and try to bring the population to a number that can be easily controlled.

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In a year, crime would have gone down drastically and the people would feel safe enough to pursue the kind of lives they want. Overall life satisfaction would increase, and the country will look less like a jungle and more like a place the people would want to live in.

Now, let us open our eyes and ask ourselves if this is not something we can achieve as a nation.

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