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1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
CROSS BORDER CRIMES IN NIGERIA: THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY POLICING
This research work was undertaken to examine the role of community policing in controlling Cross Border Crimes. These crimes such as human trafficking, smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons and trafficking in narcotises have effects on the security of affected counties like Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Togo. Dealing with these problems has become a source of major concern to the states to have the need to come together to control these crime. The work was intended to achieve the following objectives: To identify cross border crimes in Nigeria; to critically examine the effect of cross border crimes on the security of Nigeria; To assess the roles of community policing in controlling cross border crimes; To identify the strategies of community policing in curbing border crimes and to identify the problems of community policing in controlling cross border crimes. The scope of the study was limited to the overall objectives, which was from 2004- 2009 and three border crimes were examined: human trafficking, trafficking in narcotizes and smuggling of SALWs. The research was a descriptive research and Quantitative research design was used for this research. Relevant data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Questionnaires were the main primary data instrument employed while data from various relevant publications constituted the sources of secondary data. Upon the analysis of data, the following conclusions were drawn; that community policing, even though face with challenges, police and community still come together to control cross border crimes. It was recommended that service orientation should be encourage, community partnership and public education should be implemented, mini station should be put in place in an assessable areas, government should encourage neighborhood watch, provides funds for the community policing. Finally, there was an implementation strategy which is put in place at a particular period of time for government to ensure that the strategies are followed accordingly.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
States boundaries, especially between different sovereign nations are known for their dispositions to facilitate crimes (Whitmore B, 1994). These sovereign states boundaries function as separators, rather than integrators. The familiar phenomena of parallel and characteristically contrastive legal system and law enforcement procedures subsisting on the different sides not only tend to criminalize innocent cross borders and local communities, but also they render administration and policing challenges. Hence, cross border crime is an international phenomenon. Cross border crimes have constituted international threats to national security, because they affect economic security and lead to underdevelopment.
Available literatures on cross border crimes shows that most states are aware of cross border crimes and its effects on their nation. For instance, (Maetens, 2007) argued that the problems of cross border crimes – human trafficking, trafficking in Small and Light weapons and others are factors that make the Caribbean countries and their economies most vulnerable. The seriousness of these problems has caused the government of this region to explore innovative policy responses at both national and international level to come out with approaches to address crimes (Maetens Frank, 2007).
Cross border crimes which have been present in Nigeria became more pronounced towards the end of the 19th century. Although without much empirical evidence, Nigerian criminals are counted among top ranking global syndicates (Bayard James, 1999). Even if the global ranking could be debatable, there is evidence that Nigeria has been witnessing a spate of unprecedented crime waves in general and in cross border crimes in particular. For example, the arrest of a top Nigerian professional, a pilot of the Nigerian Airways was arrested for human trafficking while on international flight to the United States. Also, in South Africa, a Nigerian syndicate group had been arrested for luring an American to South Africa with a mouth-watering business deal only to kidnap him and demand ransom on arrival (Barkindo, 2007).
The dilemmas that Nigeria faces with insecurities call for critical investigation of border entry points whether they are performing their strategic functions (Willie, 2008). Nigeria has over the years engaged in the deportation of some illegal Aliens back to their country and even engaged in the closure and reopening of borders on the ground of trying to protect national security. The National Security of Nigeria have been constantly threatened by activities of cross border crimes, some Nigerians, involving the smuggling of petroleum products and other essential commodities like drugs, beverages, which constitute economic threat to Nigerian economy. Similarly, the dominance of substandard goods, fake drugs and prohibited items in local markets call to question the very essence and effectiveness of government fiscal policies and the implementation process involving chains of security agencies at our national border.
Nigeria, despite avalanches of insecurities must remain open to movement of people, goods and services if they are to prosper. At the same time, openness without credible controls makes it possible for emerging threats of cross border crimes including terrorism to strive (Willie, 2008).
The security situations in state boundaries have become increasingly worrisome, most especially in the wake of cross border crimes. This is added to the more familiar manifestations, such as smuggling as a result of the adverse effects of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of 1986 which forced an increase in price of virtually every,..
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Cross border crimes represent a number of notorious criminal activities carried out by individuals and organized groups across international boundaries for political and economic benefits. These crimes such as human trafficking, smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons and trafficking in narcotises have effects on the security of affected counties like Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Togo. Dealing with these problems has become a source of major concern to the states to hence the need to come together to control these crimes. It is against this backdrop that this study tries to examine the roles of community policing in curbing cross border crimes.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to uncover the roles of community policing in controlling cross border crimes. The specific objectives are:
1. To identify cross border crimes in Nigeria.
2. To critically examine the effect of cross border crimes on the security of Nigeria.
3. To assess the roles of community policing in controlling cross border crimes.
4. To identify the strategies of community policing in curbing border crimes.
5. To identify the problems of community policing in controlling cross border crimes.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Which are the cross border crimes that affect Nigeria?
2. What are the effects of these crimes on the security of Nigeria?
3. What role does community policing play in controlling cross border crimes?
4. What are the strategies of community policing for curbing border crimes?
5. What are the problems of community