PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF SECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTY IN NIGERIA AFTER FIFTY VAERS OF INDEPENDENCE
A STUDY OF SOUTH-EAST GEOPOLITICAL ZONE
Keywords:Perception, public perception, Security, Safety
The study which focused on South-east geo-political zone examined public perception of security of lives and property. It also examined the perception of the police and vigilante services as well as challenges they encounter in safeguarding lives and property. Three out of the five states in the zone were randomly selected for the study. A total of 810 participants were drawn through convenience of availability technique from urban and rural areas. The enlistment criteria were 18 years and above, and not less than 5 years of residence in the zone. Three instruments were used. They are questionnaire, focus group discussion (FGD) for men and women groups, and in-depth interview (IDI) for police and vigilante members. Frequency tables and percentages were applied in presentation and analysis. The analysis of variable (ANOVA) was used for test of significance. It was found that fear of crime was very high (80%) among residents. There was also high negative perception of the police services whereas vigilante groups enjoyed high positive rating. Furthermore, the study found that level of fear of crime and perception of safety and security differ by place of residence and income level. It was recommended that police should be adequately trained, remunerated and motivated to discharge their duties more efficiently.