THE INFLUENCE OF POVERTY ON CRIME

ABSTRACT

The study’s goal was to determine the significance of the relationship between poverty and crime in the Owerri district of Nigeria’s Western Province. The study’s goal was to look into the impact of poverty on crime among residents of Owerri District in Western Province. The survey research design was used for the study, and a 5-point likert scale questionnaire on poverty and crime was used to collect data from the respondents. The study’s sample size was 124 individuals (Male 90 and Female 34). The collected data was analyzed statistically using the chi-square method. The findings revealed a significant relationship between poverty (financial standing, employment, family structure, social support, level of education, and poverty) and the proclivity to commit crime among adolescents.  Owerri district residents. The study recommends that the government improve educational systems and economic empowerment of the people in order to reduce crime in the region among the 240,000 residents of Owerri in Western Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 

Owerri District has a population of over 240,000 people, with 60% living below the poverty line of less than one US dollar per day, resulting in low living standards. There is a massive population explosion in the region, putting a strain on the region’s meager resources such as land, water, health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, and some micro-finance enterprises.

Because of the vicious cycle of poverty, there is a flagrant violation of human rights under the Geneva Convention, which states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security. Other fundamental human rights violated in Owerri District include article 2, which states that men and women must be treated equally, which is not the case; instead, they are subordinates and are not allowed to participate in decision making, particularly regarding assets.

The area has seen a high population growth of youths (70%) who have not been trained, completed school, or dropped out due to unemployment, which has resulted in violent crimes such as murder, assault, rape, prostitution, theft, burglary, armed gangsters, banditry, and trade in illicit rugs such as bhang and changaa (local beer). According to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, economic or political liberty. The residents of Owerri’s rights have been hotly contested, causing them to fall into the traps of violent crimes in the region.

Poverty, as a social phenomenon, has affected the entire population in the region, and poverty and inequality are frequently the result of this. Instability in society, diseases, environmental degradation, competition for natural resources, and restrictions on basic needs. In 1992, it was estimated that 42% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 525 million people lived below the poverty line of US $ 370 per capita, and this figure was expected to rise by 50% by the year 2000. Women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and orphans are disproportionately affected by poverty. The area has an unstable microeconomic environment, poor development policies that result in low economic growth that is inconsistent with economic growth, poor infrastructure, and a high dependency ratio. To alleviate poverty in the region, proper planning, decision-making, and economic empowerment of Owerri people are required. The municipality

Budget allocation should be allocated, reviewed, and strategic plans developed to oversee the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Local Government Transfer Fund (LATF), Women Development Fund, and Youths Fund in order to improve people’s income and living standards. “People must not be allowed to become so impoverished that they offend or harm society. It is not so much the misery and plight of the poor as it is the discomfort and costs of the community that are critical to the perception of poverty. Poverty due to low income causes problems for those who are not poor”. Martya, 1981 [1]

Crime has created fear for development and investment in Owerri District as an act of sufficient challenges to the people.

the absence of industry and processing services to provide income and employment. The majority of businesses in major towns are grocery stores and casual labor, particularly in

Esibuye, Kilingili, Khumusalaba, and Mwichio. Owerri’s main occupation is subsistence farming on small holdings, which is mostly done by women to supplement the family income. There are many crimes committed in the area, such as juvenile delinquency, where children under the age of 18 become gangsters/bandits, rape and murder people in the villages, such as the Town Down gangsters of Luanda Town, the 42 brothers, and Musumbiji, among others. Crime, gambling, prostitution, vagrancy, and homosexuality are notoriously difficult to control in the District and are thus referred to as Youth Fund, District Budgetary Allocations, Education Offices, Provincial Administration, and Non-Governmental Organizations to make appropriate decisions to empower the economic status of the area in order to alleviate poverty, violent crime, and gross violations of human rights. The Ministry of Planning and National Development, the Ministry of Finance, the President’s Office, and the Provincial Administration are working together to promote food security, health and sanitation services, investment, and the reduction of violent crime in the region. The study will be useful in investigating and establishing factors that lead to poverty and how to reduce them through the study’s recommendations in accordance with Malthusian’s population Theory on Fundamental Human Rights and conflicting theories on crime issues. The study’s findings will allow us to identify the factors that contribute to  to poverty and develop strategic plans to help reduce it; engage the entire population in the area’s positive economic development.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Poverty has a significant impact on the crime rate in the Owerri district of western Nigeria. Poverty can be absolute, referring to a lack of the basic resources required to maintain a minimum level of physical health, which is normally calculated in calories, or relative, referring to the general standard of living in different societies due to cultural sensitivity and variations between and within societies over time. Poverty results from massive inequality caused by insufficient investment, education, planning, and policy implementation, insufficient health facilities, and violations of human rights such as economic empowerment, the right to protection, security, children’s rights, and the right to life.

Because of underdevelopment and sprawl, the Owerri area, which has a population of over 240,000 people, suffers from poverty and crime. Population growth limits the limited natural resources available. Apart from a small microfinance investment, there are no investments in the area. The Nigeria Women Finance Trust (KWFT) was established to assist women in starting small businesses. The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is also geared toward enhancing small microfinance projects in the area to alleviate poverty in education, infrastructure, youths, markets, and farming. Conflicts over scarce resources such as land ownership, safe drinking water, streams, food, education, and health result in conflicts and criminal activities and offenses as a result of poverty. Crime and violent conflicts are on the rise as a result of wealth disparities, rising youth unemployment, population pressure on land and resources, which causes environmental degradation and social unrest, and polarization, which causes social unrest.

There is conflict in the area. According to the vigorous approach theory, societal conditions of deep spread and deep poverty are essentially deprivation of some important essentials for sustenance such as sufficient income to provide housing, clothing, food, and education, health facilities, adequate opportunities for production employment, which leads to societal stress. Stress increases the anguish and frustration of the poor suffering, which is then exploited by violence promoting war-minded demagoguery. Scarcity of basic needs among the population causes social segmentation, group formation, and group identity strengthening, resulting in violent collective action that takes various forms ranging from rime war, terrorism, riots, civil insurgencies, political repressions, to its most extreme forms.

The majority of Owerri’s residents are subsistence farmers. On small holdings of less than Mi an acre, poor farming methods, a lack of farm inputs, and technical agricultural know-how have reduced the yield to meet the needs of the family. There are no income-generating investments such as factories or plantations (cash crops) to employ the youths and working population in the region, resulting in severe unemployment and crime. In 1991, the United Nations crime prevention journals stated that crime had accelerated far beyond the international community’s current reach. Crime is an especially serious impediment to peaceful development. It dilutes or misdirects the benefits of economic growth and lowers the quality of life; crime jeopardizes our safety, well-being, and personal integrity. 1991 (United Nations) Other criminal offenses Chang’aa brewing (local illicit brew), substance abuse such as bhang, cocaine, drug processing and trafficking in towns such as Luanda, Kima, Ekwanda, Esibuye, Kilingili, Khumusalaba, and Esirulo has resulted in more crime impeding investment in the region, resulting in absolute poverty. The study aims to address the impact of poverty on crime, the consequences for the people of Owerri District, and to recommend solutions to the problem.

1.3  PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The study’s goal was to determine the relationship between poverty and crime and to make recommendations to help the Abanyole people of Owerri and the government alleviate poverty and crime in the study area. The research aims to generate solutions to poverty through proper investment planning, the implementation of government projects to solve unemployment and land tenure issues, and the enactment of a good policy legal framework to reduce crime in the area.

1.4     RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The study’s main goal was to look into the impact of poverty on crime among residents of Owerri District in Western Province.

The following will be the study’s specific objectives:

1) To identify the economic factors that contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty in the Owerri District.

2) To investigate how poverty contributes to crime in the Owerri District.

3) Establishment of development plans to alleviate poverty in the region.

4) To assess the types of criminal offenses committed in the region, when they occur, and how they are resolved.

1.5    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions guided the research:-

1. What is the relationship between the respondents’ financial situation and crime among the Abanyole in western Nigeria’s Owerri District?

2. What is the relationship between the respondents’ employment and crime among the Abanyole in the western Nigerian district of Owerri?

3. What is the relationship between the respondents’ family structure and crime in Owerri District, western Nigeria?

4. What is the relationship between respondents’ family support and crime in Owerri District, western Nigeria?

5. What is the relationship between respondents’ level of education and crime in Owerri District, western Nigeria?

6. What is the relationship between possession

1.6.    NULL HYPOTHESIS

1. There is no link between economic status and crime among the Abanyole in Owerri District.

2. There is no link between Abanyole employment and crime in Owerri District.

3. Among the Abanyole of Owerri District, there is no link between family structure and crime.

4. There is no link between family support and crime among Owerri District’s Abanyole.

5. There is no link between Abanyole education and crime in Owerri District.

6. Among the Abanyole of Owerri District, there is no link between possession of property and crime.

1.7     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study focused on the Owerri District of Western Nigeria, which is one of the poorest areas in the country, leading to violent crime, crimes against humanity, and gross violations.

The study’s scope was limited to assessing or establishing the relationship between poverty and crime among young people.

Owerri’s population of 240,0 and its impact on regional economic development.

The study’s guidelines are based on Malthusian population theory, which states the rationale for scarce resources leading to youth bulge and violence, and conflict theory, which explains crime and its effects in the study area. Because it covered a large area, the findings were drawn from two major divisions: Owerri and Luanda.

1.8   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings of this study will be used by government departments such as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Youth Fund, District Budgetary Allocations, Education Offices, Provincial Administration, and Non-Governmental Organizations to make appropriate decisions to improve the area’s economic status and reduce poverty, violent crime, and gross violations of human rights. The Ministry of Planning and National Development, the Ministry of Finance, the President’s Office, and the Provincial Administration are working together to promote food security, health and sanitation services, investment, and the reduction of violent crime in the region. The study will be useful in investigating and establishing factors that lead to poverty and how to alleviate them through the study’s recommendations in accordance with Malthusian’s population. Fundamental human rights theory and competing theories on crime issues. The study’s findings will allow us to identify the factors that contribute to poverty and develop strategic plans to help reduce it, as well as engage the entire population in the area’s positive economic development.

1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS

Poverty has been defined as the phenomenon in which poor families become trapped in poverty for at least three generations. The families either have limited or no resources. According to the concept of the poverty vicious cycle, low productivity leads to low income, low income leads to low savings, low savings leads to low investment, and low investment leads to low productivity.

Crime- A crime is a violation of criminal statutory law, and the violation is usually accompanied by a specific punishment imposed by some government authority. Criminal activities and crime rates differ in different legal jurisdictions, as do enforcement rates.

 

 

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