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Criminal Victimization and the Reporting of Crime in Kaduna State: Towards Integrating the Victim of Crime into Criminological Discourse

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Author(s): GYONG, JOHN EMMANUEL

Journal: Current Research Journal of Social Science
ISSN 2041-3238

Volume: 2;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 288;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Crime statistics | criminal justice system | neglect victims | triangulation | victim-survey | volume of crime

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is to empirically demonstrate the importance of victims of crime towards a more comprehensive understanding of criminological discourse. This is done by using a victim-survey of crimes of murder, grievous harm and wounding, assault, rape and indecent assault, robbery, theft, housebreaking, false pretence/cheating, forgery, receiving of stolen property and unlawful possession. This is done against the backdrop that, one of the critical components of criminology is the victims of crime. These are individuals or corporate bodies that suffer directly or indirectly from acts of criminality. The areas of importance of victim surveys specifically covered in this study include the presentation of a broader picture of the volume of crime, the rate of reporting of instances of criminal victimization to the Police and the factors responsible for the observed rates for the year 2009 in Kaduna State. Using the multistage cluster sampling method, a sample survey of 900 household adults was studied. In addition, official statistics of Police crime records was collected and in-depth interview of key Police and victim respondents was made. The findings show that one, criminal victimization is under reported by as much as 60%; two, only about 36% of crimes are reported to the Police; and three, whether victims of crime report to the Police or not is a function of the interplay of factors such as their calculation of the probable costs and benefits, their perception of the seriousness of the offence, their moral and patriotic obligation, their attitude to law, the Police and the system of social control in general, the availability of other options open to them in terms of restitution and compensation etc. In conclusion, the study confirms that victim-survey of crimes does serve the function of increasing the scope of criminological discourse. Finally, the study recommends a periodic national survey of victims of crime as a way of improving our knowledge of crime as w ell as providing an evidence-based basis for crime control strategies by the law enforcement agencies.
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