Public Perception of the Role of the Nigeria Police Force in Curbing the Menace of Kidnapping in Benin Metropolis, Southern Nigeria: A Criminological Study

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Abstract

Kidnapping for ransom has been on the increase in the last ten years in Nigeria and there appears to be no end in sight despite the existence of a police force whose statutory function of crime detection and prevention has come under fire for its abysmal performance. This study therefore examined the public perception of the role of the Nigeria police force in curbing the menace of kidnapping in Benin Metropolis, Southern Nigeria. This study adopted the problem-oriented policing theory in its explanation of the topic under investigation. It also employed the survey and cross-sectional design. The quantitative technique was utilized to collect data from the respondents while a total of 960 respondents were quantitatively sampled. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the quantitative data collected from the field. Findings from this investigation showed that there is a very poor public perception of the police and that there are a multiplicity of obstacles hindering the efforts of the police at curbing the activities of kidnappers in Nigeria. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that government should improve the funding of the police to boost the morale of the rank and file while the police on its part should get rid of the bad elements within its system in order for public confidence to be restored in its ability.

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