Gbenemene Kpae (PhD)


The inability of the Nigerian Police to control the increasing wave of crime has led to proliferation of vigilante groups in contemporary Nigeria. This study was initiated to investigate the impact of vigilante groups on crime control in contemporary Nigeria, particularly in Udenu L.G.A of Enugu State. Seven hundred and twenty (720) respondents were sampled from Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State. Multi-stage, cluster and simple random sampling methods were used as the sampling techniques. Questionnaires were administered to respondents by six (6) research assistants whereas interviews were conducted with two (2) traditional rulers, chairman of Udenu L.G.A vigilante group, chairman of vigilante monitoring group and 24 vigilante group members. The result indicated that Nigeria Police is ineffective with regard to crime control and vigilante groups in its current form sprang up to make up for this ineffectiveness. It also showed that vigilante groups are gaining prominence as agents of crime control in contemporary Nigeria, particularly, Udenu L.G.A of Enugu State. The result equally revealed that vigilante group members are recruited and monitored through their communities and that they are effective in crime control. Also, the result indicated that the best way of solving the problem of crime in Nigeria is by increasing the activities of vigilante groups. Howbeit, lack of fire arms, poor funding, lack of patrol vehicles are the major problems confronting vigilante groups. More so, based on the major findings, it was recommended that vigilante group members should operate within the frame work of law. Finally, security committees should be established at the local government level and these committees should meet periodically to discuss security matters in their areas.

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