Likeevery other society or country in the world, Nigeria as a county is noexception when it comes to crime and delinquency. Every day we are faced withone criminal act or the other, be it fraud, murder, bombing, armed robbery andthe likes. Nigeria has been on the global crime map since 1980. Incidents suchas a case in which some individual were stalked and eventually trapped inuncompleted buildings, basements or even car trunks depict the viciousness of violent criminals.
These acts are usually well planned, orchestrated, syndicated and organized.Whitecollar crimes have become rampant. It refers to financially motivatednonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals, it wasfirst defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed bya person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”InNigeria, to control and stop these types of crime, three bodies are responsiblefor the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria. These bodies are: thecourt, the police and the prison. The Nigerian civil police force is made upof; custom, immigration and prison enforcement. According to section 194 of the1979 constitution, the Nigerian Police Force is appointed with jurisdictionthroughout the country.Otherbranches of the police force protect the harbor, waterways, railways andairfields.
The Nigerian police force performs typical police functions and isresponsible for internal security.The views thatcitizens have about the police are important. These views can influence thedegree and type of interaction people have with the police and the degree ofsupport provided to the police (Cao & Dai, 2006). Without public support,modern policing is difficult, if not impossible (Islam & Ali, 2008).Positive views of the police by citizens can lead to a positive relationshipwith the police, which can improve the effectiveness of the police (Brown &Benedict, 2002). Negative views canlead to resentment, which can impede the ability of the police to be effectiveformal agents of law and order (Goldsmith, 2005).
Policing views are,therefore, important to explore and understand (Nalla & Madan, 2011). Whilethere is a growing body of research on policing views, the vast majority ofstudies have focused on Western nations, especially the United States (Brown,Benedict, & Wilkinson, 2006; Cao & Dai, 2006). There are numerousnations across the globe in which there is a scarcity of research on people’sviews of the police. The primary functions of the police are detection andprevention of crime as well as preservation of law and order.
The police haveconstitutional powers of ensuring the prevalence of law and order and thepreservation of public peace. According to Bittner (190:38-44), a policeofficer is any person who is principally concerned with law enforcement andcrime control, and only incidentally concerned with an infinite variety ofother socio-political matters.The1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confer on the police forcepowers and duties for effective oversight and accountability similarly, thePolice Act charge the force with the general duties of:i.The protection of life and propertyii.Detection and prevention of crime;iii.Apprehension of offenders;iv.Preservation of law and orderv.The due enforcement of law regulations with which they are directly charged.