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PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND CONFIDENCE IN THE NIGERIAN POLICE: EXAMINING THE NEXUS IN CRIME PREVENTION AND CONTROL
The study examines public perception and confidence in the Nigerian police and explores how this aids or mars crime prevention and control in the country. Being a theoretical work, the study employed two basic theories– the social conflict theory of Karl Marx and the direct theory of perception by James Gibson as methodological approaches toward gathering facts and explanation of the phenomenon. Also several literatures were reviewed to give a better understanding of the subject matter. Based on the theories/literature reviewed, and the personal experiences of members of the society, the study revealed that the public perception of the police is on the negative side, and the public confidence in the Nigerian police is low and unfavorable. The study also unveiled the fact that crime prevention and control by the police is anchored on public acceptance, which is a function of perception and confidence in the police. It further exposed that the Nigerian police are ineffective and inefficient in their constitutional role of preventing and controlling crime. As such, the police are enjoined to build better public confidence and positive perception in the public through the employment of professionalism, imbibing international best practices of policing, and eschewing corruption and other unlawful practices that have hitherto characterized her operations in Nigeria.
Keywords: Crime Prevention and Control, Nigeria, Public Confidence, Public Perception.