Journal

Correlates of crime in urban Makurdi, Nigeria

Patience Adzande1, Timothy Terver Gyuse2 and Jacob Atser3

This study examined the social and physical correlates of crime in Makurdi town with a view to predicting their influence on the emerging crime pattern especially in a rapidly developing city in the global south. The study sought to provide insights on the pattern of crime and the key determinants of the distribution of opportunities for crime within the built environment, using Makurdi, Nigeria as the case study. To achieve this, the study utilized the survey research design to obtain data on social and physical attributes of the study area. Makurdi residential areas were divided into fifty-seven spatial units and a total of seven hundred and sixty-eight structured questionnaires were administered on household heads. The aggregated social and physical variables were regressed against the levels of victimization, theft, rape, assault, burglary and armed robbery so as to identify the major correlates of these crimes. The results suggest that age is a predictor of incidences of victimization and burglary while the age of buildings had a significant influence on incidences of victimization. Building density was linked to incidences of victimization and rape. Income and employment status were predictors of theft and assault while fences and houses with open frontages significantly influenced the occurrence of armed robbery and assault. The results of the analysis have given credence to the surveillance principle and the need for capable guardians as advanced by proponents of crime prevention through environmental design and the routine activities theory.

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